The Auracle – Volume 33, May 2019

From the principal’s desk

At this time each year, the work of staff in the coordinating office includes many tasks associated with enrolment processes for students seeking entry into Aurora College in the following year.

On Monday 20 May, Kathy Klados (Deputy Principal) and I were joined by your parent representative, Nick Stone (father of Felix and William, Moruya High School), at the Selective High Schools meeting at the department’s High Performing Students Unit.

Do you know a government school student in your local community who may benefit from a selective school education at Aurora College?

The purpose of this meeting was to produce an order of merit list for students who applied for entry into Year 7 at Aurora College in 2020. Students seeking enrolment in Year 7 are considered for entry on the basis of academic merit, which is determined by the students’ performance on the school curriculum and in the Selective High Schools Placement Test. This year, the test was held on Thursday 14 March.

In determining the order of merit list, the committee gives consideration to individuals whose circumstances may include such things as illness or misadventure on the day of the test. Placement outcome letters will be sent by the department’s High Performing Students Unit to the parents of all applicants in early July 2019. On your behalf, I thank Nick for giving-up his time and for providing his input into this important process.

For further information about the selective high schools application process for entry into Year 7, visit

Students who did not qualify and/or did not apply for entry into Aurora College in Year 7 have the opportunity to apply for vacant positions in Years 8, 9 and 10 (2020).

The application process for Years 8, 9 and 10 (2020) opens Friday 21 June 2019 and closes Friday 26 July 2019. An application, made directly to the school, must include:

  • a completed application form (available from Friday 21 June 2019)
  • copies of school reports (Semester 1 from the current year and Semester 2 from the previous year)
  • results in academic competitions (eg Australian Mathematics Competition)
  • evidence of performance in literacy and numeracy (eg NAPLAN results).

Vacancies exist in all years, so we invite applications from interested students who are enrolled in a NSW Government school which is classified as a rural and remote school. If you know of students in your local community who may benefit from a selective school education at Aurora College, please direct them to our website

Applications to enrol may also be made by Year 11 and 12 students in rural and remote government high schools. Students may apply to study one or more Stage 6 subjects with Aurora College.

Applications for Year 11 (2020) open Wednesday 17 July 2019 and close Friday 25 October 2019. Year 11 students may chose to study one or more of the following courses with Aurora: Agriculture; Chemistry; Physics; Economics; Geography; English Advanced; English Extension 1; Italian Beginners; Japanese Beginners; Korean Beginners; Mathematics Advanced; Mathematics Extension 1; and Software Design & Development.

Applications for Year 12 (commencing Term 4, 2019) open on Wednesday 17 July 2019 and close on Friday 23 August 2019. Year 12 students may chose to study one or more of the following subjects with Aurora: Agriculture; Chemistry; Physics; Science Extension; English Advanced; English Extension 1; English Extension 2; Japanese Beginners; Korean Beginners; Economics; Mathematics Advanced; Mathematics Extension 1; Mathematics Extension 2; and Software Design & Development.

For further information, visit

The Aurora College Enrolment Principles outlines the principles and processes that will be applied when students (including current Aurora students) seek to enrol in one or more Stage 6 courses at Aurora College. Students and parents should read this document very carefully and contact the school if you require further information and/or assistance.

Our Stage 6 subject selection evening for students and parents will be held online on Wednesday 31 July at 7pm. Registration details will be available on our website soon. Current Year 10 students and their parents will also receive an invitation to the event via email.

Finally, families from participating primary schools across the state are busily completing applications for their children to join the Aurora College Opportunity Class Pilot (AOCP) in 2020. A selection panel (comprising the Aurora College Principal and Assistant Principal Stage 3, Manager High Performing Students Unit and NSW Primary Principals’ Association representative) will assess each student’s application and will provide outcome advice to all families and schools by Week 9 in Term 2.

Enjoy reading another great edition of The Auracle.

Chris Robertson  | Principal

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Deputy’s report

Welcome back to Term 2. At Aurora College we endeavour to “know value and care for’ each and every student and this was confirmed in our recent TTFM survey with over 90% of year 7’s confirming a positive sense of belonging and over 80% of all our students having a positive sense of belonging compared to 60% state wide.

Semester 1 reports were issued to Year 12 parents on 13 May with parent interviews taking place on 22 May. We hope you enjoyed receiving the informative feedback regarding your child’s learning. Semester 1 reports for Year 11 students will be issued on 7 June (Week 6) and Years 6 to 10 on 24 June (Week 9). These will be issued via email and the Sentral parent portal ( Unlike the Term 1 interim report, the Semester 1 report is a full ‘academic’ report. It will show the progress that each student is making towards achieving specific course outcomes.

Parent-teacher meetings will occur between 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm on the following dates:

  • Week 7 on Wednesday 12 June for Year 11
  • Week 10 on Monday 1 July for Years 7 and 9
  • Week 10 on Tuesday 2 July for Years 8 and 10
  • Week 10 on Wednesday 3 July for Stage 3 OC.

The meetings will give all parents the opportunity to discuss their child’s progress. Meetings will take place via telephone. Further information, including how to book an appointment, will be emailed to all parents.

If you have any concerns regarding your child’s progress or well-being, please contact the coordinating office by phone on 1300 287 629 or email at

Assessment handbooks and scope and sequences
Assessment handbooks and scope and sequences are now available in Sentral via the parent portal ( These resources allow parents to further support their children by accessing timelines for formal assessment tasks and topic outlines of their courses.

Student attendance
Students need to attend school regularly to meet the course requirements of the ROSA, Preliminary HSC and HSC. Student attendance is recorded in each lesson at Aurora. The coordinator or parents/caregivers are required to inform the coordinating office of Aurora College within seven days if a student is sick, or:

  • has an unavoidable medical or dental appointment
  • is required to attend a recognised religious holiday
  • is required to attend an exceptional or urgent family circumstance
  • has a home school commitment including school excursions, school carnivals etc.
  • arrives late or leaves early from an Aurora lesson at a time which has not been negotiated and does not appear on his/her timetable.

The Aurora College coordinating office may be reached by email at or by telephone on 1300 287 629.

If students miss more than 15% of class, letters of concern (for Years 7-9) or N-Awards warning letters (for Years 10-12) will be sent home. This informs parents that the student is missing work and/or is at risk of not fulfilling course requirements.

Students on leave for extended periods
A Certificate of Exemption must be obtained from the Principal of your home school if the student plans to be on leave for extended periods. An example of when this may be required is when travelling overseas. In the case where a student is granted a Certificate of Exemption, Aurora College requires a copy to be forwarded to the coordinating office via the ACC. In order to meet course outcomes, students will still be required to complete assessment tasks and classwork as negotiated by the Head Teacher for each subject.

Home school excursions or events
Students involved in home school excursions, such as sports or swimming carnivals, must notify Aurora College via their ACC or their parents. This also applies to special events in schools where the students will be absent from their usual Aurora classes.

Extensions for assessment tasks
An extension for an assessment task may be granted in exceptional circumstances where students are unable to complete the task by the due date, because of illness or misadventure (eg: accident, unforeseen event). The illness/misadventure form must be completed and signed by the student, parent/guardian and the Aurora College Coordinator. The coordinator will then email a scanned copy of the form to the classroom teacher and relevant Head Teacher Curriculum. The completed form must be forwarded within 2 days of the request for the extension. The Head Teacher will review the application and any supporting documentation before deciding to uphold or decline the application. Each application is assessed independently, so it is important to attach comprehensive evidence.

If a student is absent from class on the day of an ‘in-class’ assessable task, they should have a completed illness/misadventure form with them when they return to school and should expect to complete the assessable item on their first day of return to Aurora College lessons.

External health services
The availability of external health services varies from community to community. Aurora College endeavours to identify service providers and develop partnerships with them to effectively plan and provide pathways to support our students, parents and staff.

Your local GP is often the best place to start when looking to access support services. The following links may also assist you in accessing local health services:

School Community and Complaints procedure
The department is committed to effectively managing complaints raised by consumers, members of the community and staff by following the following principles:

  • respectful treatment
  • information and accessibility
  • good communication
  • taking ownership
  • timeliness
  • transparency.

To access the procedures of how to lodge a complaint, please click on the link here.

What’s coming up?

  • Year 11 academic reports issued by 7 June
  • Year 7-10 academic reports issued by 24 June
  • Year 11 parent interviews on Wednesday 12 June
  • Year 7 and 9 parent interviews on Monday 1 July
  • Year 8 and 10 parent interviews on Tuesday 2 July
  • Year 6 parent interviews on Wednesday 3 July

Kathy Klados | Deputy Principal

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OC Pilot Class

Stage 3 have been working on Minecraft blueprints as part of Area in Mathematics.  Students drew diagrams on grid paper in their OneNote workbook, to express their ideas. Once drawn to scale, these diagrams were used to calculate their Area.

Sheep paddock by Sam Rivett

With the conclusion of the ’Future of Industry’ unit, students were asked to consider how they could improve the design thinking process for current practices in industry. They were encouraged to make modifications to current practices being used in industries. These were some of the modifications and prototypes considered as part of the brief.

Designs by our students included how to manage egg packaging and rice farming. Here are a couple of samples from:

To the right is a model of my solution. It is a sheep paddock. The black strips represent conveyor belts. The white pom poms are sheep! The green felt represents my green shade cloth.

Serena McLean | Project Officer AOCP

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Faculty news – English, HSIE and Languages

Wide Reading 2019

This year in the English Faculty we are promoting the importance of wide reading in Year 7 – 9 and then student reflection on what they have read.

It has become clear with the introduction of the new HSC English syllabus that the ability to read, understand, interpret and analyse texts is pivotal to a student’s success in the English course in Stage 6. To ensure that our students are prepared to meet the demands placed on them in Stage 6 English, we have implemented the wide reading program which also forms part of their class mark.

In Years 7 and 8 students are able to choose the form in which they respond to what they have read, while in Year 9 students write a review. Below are some examples of what our students are reading and their responses to the texts.

Year 7

Year 9

Units of Study

Year 8

Year 8 have been studying the Horror genre in fiction in Term 1. They created some fantastic and imaginative horror stories featuring ghosts, zombies and other intriguing characters. Part of their assessment was to create a poster or book trailer to promote their horror story. Enjoy the examples listed below.

Creative Writing:

Visual Representation:

Year 9

Year 9 have been studying the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” in Term 1. They were asked to write a narrative from the perspective of one of the characters in the novel, allowing us to see familiar characters such as Jem, Atticus and Boo in a new light.

Creative Writing:

Analytical Writing:

Alternatively, 9ENG2 studied a famed story about a young boy’s experiences during the Holocaust period – ‘Night’, as composed by Elie Wiesel. During our study, students were asked to empathise with the experiences of Jewish people during World War II, and to recognise the hardships faced by others in a dangerous and confronting context.

Their responses to Assessment Task 1 demonstrated a heartfelt connection with central characters, and a deep understanding of the ideas represented in the novel including the impact of actions by authority figures, the importance of family connections, and always maintaining a sense of hope.’

Creative Writing:

Analytical Writing:

Year 10

In Term 1, Year 10 studied Creative Non-Fiction and Satire. Students were able to read and view many examples of non-fiction pieces including personal essays, articles, blogs and poems. They also learned about the conventions of Satire, focusing on television, cartoons and literary satire.

For their assessment, students produced a portfolio of creative pieces that they crafted over the term in addition to a satirical piece. The work produced was at times funny, thought provoking and gave insight into their perception of current events and their experiences as young people in the world today.

Creative non-fiction and satire:

Carolyn McMurtrie |Head Teacher English, HSIE and Languages

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Faculty news – Mathematics and Software Design and Development

Students in 7MAT3 and 7MAT6 have discovered that peer marking and feedback sessions really help to deepen their own understanding. They have been coached to write more meaningful, instructive feedback and are developing great skills in this area.

They have also been improving their skills in writing topic summaries which aid in consolidation of skills and concepts and serve as valuable study aides.

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Kathy Howard | Head Teacher Mathematics and Software Design and Development

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Faculty news – Science

UNSW BRAGG Student Prize

Aurora College students in Years 7-10 are encouraged to participate in the UNSW Bragg Science Writing competition.  Refer to the flyer for details, or contact your Science teacher.

Fiona Boneham | Head Teacher Science (Rel.)

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Spotlight on … Cathy Groth

I’m Catheryn Groth, the new Learning and Support Teacher with Aurora College. I support students in Stage 5 (Years 9 &10) and Stage 6 (Years 11 & 12).

I am new to Aurora College this year and share my time between Aurora and my home school, Chatham High School. I have been in the learning support role at Chatham High School, on the Mid North Coast of NSW for a number of years now and decided that I wanted to work with students beyond just my own school setting and Aurora College gave me the perfect opportunity to do this and work with students from across the entire state.

A typical day at Aurora College, for me looks like: reading and responding to emails; developing student plans to assist them with their learning; contacting students; and visiting classrooms and students.

Over my teaching career, I have taught English, Maths, HSIE, MT, Textiles Technology and Food Technology. At Aurora College, I am one of the Learning and Support Teachers (LaST), so I don’t really have a favourite teaching subject but I do enjoy supporting students to achieve their best across all curriculum areas.

While working at Aurora College is a new experience for me, I am excited to be working with students from rural and remote areas on digital platforms. In my non-school time, I am a hockey player who also enjoy all handicraft work, especially; knitting, crocheting and sewing (mainly patchwork).

Cathy Groth |Learning and Support Teacher

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Connect locally, learn globally

Hi there, my name is Joseph and I live in Parkes, which has a population of about 15,000. Parkes is a great community as we all know each other. Having the smell of fresh air is great and being able to take a ride on a header is also great.

We are well known for The Dish which helped transmit the first photos/messages from the moon. Another big thing here is the Elvis Festival which gets about 20,000 or more visitors each year. All this doesn’t come free though, as Parkes gets very hot and very cold. In summer we get to around 46 degrees and in the minuses in winter. The reason I like Parkes so much is there are various opportunities for things and everyone is so supportive, plus you will always get a car park.

I like to play sports such as tennis, cricket and hockey. I like to do representative sport as well. On weekends I’m usually playing sport and in my spare time I like to either play a musical instrument or tinker around in the shed.

I go to Parkes High and we have around 600 students here, with about 120 of them coming from year 8 (my year). We have 20-odd Aurorians as well. Why did I choose to do Aurora? I chose it to try something different. It has been a great experience which has given me friends outside of Parkes as well as another dimension to learning. It also makes you learn and challenge yourself.

When I leave school I would like to either be a farmer, professional sportsman or an auto electrician.

Joseph (Year 8, Parkes High School)

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Student Representative Council

Students in the SRC are busy supporting Aurora College’s involvement in the Premier’s Sporting Challenge.

Students and staff are busy walking, running, swimming and moving their way through the ten week challenge.

Participants have access to a PSC app to track their movements. We are keenly monitoring the challenge to see which year group will have moved the most – or will it be the staff?

The challenge ends on Friday 5 July, 2019.

Kaylene Taylor | SRC Coordinator

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Bright lights

Australian Surf Life Saving Championships

Libby (Year 11, Dorrigo High School) attended the Australian Surf Life saving Championships, known as the Aussies, at Broadbeach in Queensland.

Libby competed for the Sawtell Surf Life Saving Club, against competitors from over 314 surf clubs, in the under 17 girls age group.

Libby’s team in the under 17 girls ski relay are the Australian Champions.

Libby also made the double ski final and the semi-final of the single ski in the Australian under 19 girls group.

Congratulations, Libby!




Rugby skills

Shannon (Year 9, Nyngan High School) is pictured here with some of his home school classmates.

Playing rugby for his school in Dubbo, the open side won their first game, and lost their second by a very tight margin.

Well done, Shannon!





Golf Championships

Jonah (Year 10, Maclean High School) is representing his home school in the North Coast Combined High Schools Golf Championships.

Competing at Yamba Golf Club, in a 27 hole competition where par is 108, Jonah shot 127 net.

Well done on a great round Jonah!





Stars of the stage

Four Aurora College students from our partner school, Ulladulla High School, will shine when the curtains open in June for the Milton Follies production of Anything Goes Junior.

Brothers Duncan (Year 10) and Lucas (Year 7), along with Poppy (Year 9) and Sienna (Year 8) are seasoned performers with their local theatre group.

As well as showcasing their musical talent, the students gain confidence on the stage, make loads of new friends and learn production skills behind the scenes.

The students have performed in other Follies productions, such as; Joseph, The Little Mermaid, Seussical, Pinocchio, Arabian Nights, and Badjelly the Witch.

Good luck, Duncan, Lucas, Poppy and Sienna!




Future Bright Lights

If your child has a passion outside of our virtual classrooms, please feel free to email us a few words and an image, it is always lovely to know what our students are up to in their local communities. Please email:, marked: attention The Auracle.

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Library news

Borrowing Stars: Term 1

Our top borrowers in Term One were: Alice Harris, Hayley Fraser, Mali Hopkins-Davies, Zoe Cowled, Heidi Parkin, Aja Bailey, Iris Cuddy, Mae Browning and Lucas McDonald. Well done to our all of our borrowing stars, Astras have been awarded!

Premier’s Reading Challenge

Many students are avidly working their way through the required reading for the 2019 Premier’s Reading Challenge. Students are required to read 20 books, 5 personal choice and the remainder from the PRC list.

PRC reading logs are due by 30 AUGUST, 2019, so there is still time to get involved. Reading logs and lists have been emailed to students in Years 7, 8 and 9.  

World Poetry Day

Aurora College students were invited to submit a refrain poem as an extension to an activity at Residential and to support World Poetry Day. Congratulations to our winning  poets, enjoy reading their refrain poems:


Sad by Maya Roze (Year 7)

Sad, as they sat together under the stars

Sad, as they felt the hot tears spilling down their faces

Sad, as they linked hands for the last time

Sad, as they peacefully left this world together.


School by Lucas McDonald (Year 7)

School, the place we all trudge toward on stormy days.

School, the fun sanctuary to catch up with friends.

School, the dreaded hell many students loathe.

School, the homework giving monster trampling on your free time.

School, the thing that parents love sending their children to.

School, the container of the feared cafeteria lunches…

School, the dramatic, tough life.

School, the educating teacher giving knowledge to us all.

School, the place where everyone belongs.

School, the 2nd best home after our own.


Life by Alice Bui (Year 8)

Life, no one knows why it’s here

Life, it is just not clear

Life is a place full of confusion

Life might just be an illusion

Life is just like a mystery

Life belongs in the future & history

Life is legit everywhere

Life, all say it’s unfair

Life is the like heart of this world

Life is like a clam and a pearl

Life, is full of love and regret

Life is for us to never forget

Life, it’s good and it’s bad

Life, it drives people crazy & mad

Life is within everyone

Life is made for you to have fun

Life is full of emotions

Life is a happy explosion

Life always has a start & an end

Life is full of families and friends.


Jars by Lauren Weppler (Year 8)

Jars hold juicy pickles and jams so I don’t eat them all in a week

Jars are made of glass so they shatter loudly when you drop them

Jars have round lids that pop when you open them for the first time

Jars are good for keeping fireflies

Jars are tall and skinny so you can fit lots in a cupboard

Jars hold it all together

Some Jars are shaped like volcanoes because they explode with flavour

Jars are hard to open, so you have to work for the content

Jars are pretty when you put a candle in them

Jars are the support structure of preservation

Jars can be found in the pantry and fridge

Jars are often empty

Jars keep stuff fresh so you can eat it later

Jars have waxy stickers to tell you how little sugar there is

Jars roll on the floor, good for races

Jars are fun to paint because the brush slips and you get colourful hands

Jars are better than tuna tins because they can be reused

Jars are better than boxes because they are better for a knife to get in and out

Jars are better than coffee because you can put anything in them and it tastes good.


Marking by Miss Elliott (Staff)

Marking, forever piling on my desk.

Marking, a requirement of the job.

Marking, always lost in the translation.

Marking, making sure to dot the i’s and cross the t’s.

Marking, a time-sucking machine that whittles away the hours.

Marking, a red pen gliding across each page.

Marking, a necessary evil.

Marking, to ensure student development.

Marking, a little each day keeps the Head Teacher away.


The library that never closes

Our digital school library is available to our students, 24/7, via their student portal login. There are always new ebooks and audiobooks being added to the collection. If your child would like to request a title, please encourage them to email me.

Kaylene Taylor | Teacher Librarian

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Literacy and Numeracy Team

The Literacy and Numeracy Team have continued to work through data, explore teaching and learning strategies and develop a plan for supporting individual students in this area.

We have designed a tutoring program to cater for the specific needs of each student in order for them to reach their own personal expected growth in these areas. These sessions have only recently commenced where students will work individually or in small groups with a Literacy or Numeracy Coach.

Whole cohort testing has commenced for Year 8 students so that we can identify areas for further growth across the year group. This involves the use of the Education Perfect platform for quick diagnosis and targeted follow up learning activities, where appropriate.

We look forward to gaining student feedback as this program evolves and hope to see improved literacy and numeracy skills in all students.

If you have any queries regarding the Literacy and Numeracy Program, please do not hesitate to contact the leaders of this team.

Carolyn McMurtrie | Head Teacher English – Literacy Leader

Kathy Howard | Head Teacher Mathematics – Numeracy Leader

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Spotlight on Anti-Bullying, Online or Cyberbullying

Online bullying is bullying carried out through the internet or mobile devices. Online bullying is also sometimes called cyberbullying.

It can happen to anyone, anytime, and can leave you feeling unsafe and distressed. Online bullying can be offensive and upsetting.

Online bullying can include:

  • sending insulting or threatening messages
  • posting unkind messages or inappropriate images on social networking sites
  • excluding others from online chats or other communication
  • inappropriate image tagging
  • sharing someone’s personal or embarrassing information online
  • creating hate sites or starting social exclusion campaigns on social networking sites
  • sharing unflattering or private images, including naked or sexual images
  • assuming the identity of the another person online and representing them in a negative manner or manner that may damage their relationship with others
  • repeatedly, and for no strategic reason, attacking players in online gaming.

For it to be called bullying, inappropriate actions online must be between people who have ongoing contact and be part of a pattern of repeated behaviours (online or offline).

This information has been sourced from the following website:

More information can be found at the following websites:

Anti-bullying – parents and carers online bullying fact sheet (PDF 223.73KB)

Cyberbullying support tool – a guide for parents

Aurora College Anti-bullying Plan

Cathy Groth | Learning and Support Teacher

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Technology Update

Requesting Support

Just a reminder to all, that the best way to request support, or even to just ask a technology question, is to email our helpdesk at

For urgent enquiries, you can also call on 1300 610 733.

Additionally, there is a form on our website that you can use at any time. Simply go to and scroll down to the Technology Support Team section. We welcome all questions or requests for support from students, parents, teachers, and partner school staff.

For the quickest response, please include as much detail as possible, screenshots, and any steps you have already taken to try and resolve the issue. This will allow us to provide a solution faster, rather than having to start with basic troubleshooting steps.

Ben Hillsley | Learning Technologies Support Officer

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From the engine room

Earlier this month, a member of our school administrative team, Georgia Brown, was invited to have morning tea with The Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, in recognition of her work as part of the Take Kare team – an initiative run by The Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation.

Georgia is an active volunteer for the Safe Space program, providing first aid, water, phone access and transport information to young people in Sydney Square, next to Town Hall. Core to the Foundation’s work is the prevention of harmful behaviours associated with alcohol abuse, self-harm and suicide.

We are proud, as a school, of the positive contribution Georgia has on the lives of young people in our school and in the wider community.

Family Holidays during School Time

From the beginning of 2015, family holidays and travel outside of the school holiday periods has been considered as an absence from school and require approval from your home school principal.

An Application for Extended Leave – Travel needs to be submitted to your home school principal for approval. You will be issued with a Certificate of Extended Leave – Travel.

Once this approval has been granted, please provide Aurora College with a copy of this certificate.

Denise Deaves | School Administrative Manager

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Aurora College: C/- Mowbray Public School 635 Mowbray Road LANE COVE NORTH NSW 2066 Phone: 1300 287 629; Email: Website:; Facebook:
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