The Auracle – Vol.30, December 2018

From the principal’s desk

In every edition of The Auracle, we celebrate the many and varied achievements of our students. In this, the final edition for the year, we honour our annual award recipients for 2018. I invite you to view a complete list of our deserving prize winners here.

Prizes were awarded for academic achievement and for success attained via the college’s merit system. Prizes included the:

  • First in Course Award – the recipient achieved first place in the subject in his/her cohort
  • Academic Excellence Award – the recipient achieved first place in the subject in his/her class
  • Academic Achievement Award – the recipient showed sustained application and effort in the subject
  • Principal’s Award for Academic Excellence – the recipient achieved an aggregated top ten place in their cohort
  • Galaxy Medal – the recipient showed ongoing commitment to achieving academic excellence in all subjects.

Locations of schools sharing: students (blue markers); students and teachers (green markers); and teachers (red markers) in 2019.

In the last weeks of the term, partner schools received certificates and/or medals for all prize winners. I would like to thank our colleagues for presenting these awards, as intended, at the end of year presentation assemblies across the state. Congratulations, to all students for your magnificent achievements!

As we prepare for the year ahead, I am pleased to report that our school will once again experience significant growth. The new school year will commence with approximately 380 Aurora students, shared with 106 schools across rural and remote NSW. This represents an increase of 46% on the number of students enrolled at the start of 2018 and an increase of 162% on the number enrolled at the start of 2015, our first year of operation.

Our 2019 cohort will include 47 stage 3 students from 20 public schools, who will comprise the first cohort of the Aurora Opportunity Class Pilot (AOCP). This term, our stage 3 students have been familiarising themselves with the various platforms in use at Aurora, and also getting a taste of what their learning will be like in the year ahead. I would like to thank our new partner primary schools for the very supportive and constructive way in which they have embraced the AOCP. We look forward to working with you in the education of these extraordinary kids!

This week, we said goodbye to a number of staff who, for a range of personal and professional reasons, will not be returning to Aurora in 2019. I would like to acknowledge and thank the following staff for the many contributions they have made to our school: Christine Black (Science); Julia Garvey (Mathematics); Gracen Gu (Mathematics); Sean Harrington (Science); Anthony Hogan (Software Design and Development); Susan Laris (Science); Tegan Morgan (English); Heather O’Brien (Mathematics); Elizabeth Robson (English); Nicolet Westerhof (Agriculture); Dorothy Wakelin (School Counsellor); and Tanya Williams (Science). Christine, Julia, Sean and Nicolet deserve a special mention as each has been with our school since 2015. As I have reminded staff on numerous occasions, Aurora College will be our collective professional legacy. Each of our departing colleagues can be very proud of the part they have played in the development of the state’s first virtual school. I know that I speak for the entire Aurora College community when I wish them all the very best in their future endeavours.

To accommodate the increase in enrolments in 2019, a state-wide expression of interest process concluded recently with the appointment to Aurora of 22 new ‘shared’ teachers. I am pleased to report that 50% of the 2019 teaching faculty will themselves be located in rural and remote areas of our state. I would like to congratulate and welcome to Aurora College: Lara Palmer (Languages, Asquith Girls High School); Amy Dennis (Science, Barham High School); Christopher Hayden (Mathematics, Bowral High School); Zoe Smith (English, Brisbane Waters Secondary College); Tamara Donovan (English, Canowindra High School); Janette Ra (Languages, Castle Hill High School); Helen Spencer (Mathematics, Cobar High School); Melissa Hughes (Science, Condobolin High School); Karla Olmos (English, Crestwood High School); Luisa Simeonidis (English, Denison College, Bathurst Campus); Renetta Wolfe (Languages, Denison College, Bathurst Campus); Murray Rose (Science, Denison College, Bathurst Campus); Andrew Le (English, Denison College, Kelso Campus); Michael Kelly (Science, Dungog High School); Katie Rowe (Agriculture, Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School); Karen Wallwork (Science, Gorokan High School); Nadine Wild (Mathematics, Hunters Hill High School); Erika Dayaganon (Agriculture, Hurlstone Agricultural High School); Sharon Davis (Science, Hurlstone Agricultural High School); Trudy Spargo (Science, Kyogle High School); Amanda Manson (Mathematics, Model Farms High School); and Jocelyn King (School Counsellor).

Following their appointment, our new members of staff travelled to Sydney for a week-long induction program. The very intense program included working with our current Aurora staff, but also with a specialist in Gifted Education from the University of NSW. Welcome, one and all!

The School Excellence Framework supports all NSW public schools in their pursuit of excellence by providing a clear description of the key elements of high quality practice across the three domains of learning, teaching and leading. The Framework describes 14 elements which define the core business of public schools in three stages: delivering; sustaining and growing; and excelling.

Each year, schools assess their practices against the Framework to inform their school plans and annual reports. A group of schools are also nominated each year, to participate in an external validation process. This provides an opportunity for schools to check the accuracy of their judgements about their practice, and the evidence that underpins them.

In 2018, Aurora College was selected to undertake the external validation process, culminating in a meeting between the department’s validation team and our school’s leadership group for this process, on Thursday 15 November. I am very proud to report that following a presentation on our school’s operations, and having reviewed our extensive evidence set, the validation team agreed with our assessment of our practices against the Framework.

The external validation process verified that in the domain of:

  • Learning, Aurora College is excelling in the elements of Learning culture, Wellbeing, Curriculum and Reporting, and sustaining and growing in the elements of Assessment and Student performance measures
  • Teaching, Aurora College is excelling in the elements of Effective classroom practice, and Learning and development, and sustaining and growing in the elements of Data skills and use and Professional standards
  • Leading, Aurora College is excelling in the elements of Educational leadership, School planning, implementation and reporting, School resources and Management practices and processes.

For any school, this is would be a remarkable achievement. For a school as unique and as young as Aurora College, it is even more so. I offer my congratulations and thanks to our entire community for the part each of you play in our ongoing success.

To give the majority of our students the opportunity to take part in orientation activities at their home school, Aurora College classes for students in the:

  • Eastern division commence on Friday 1 February 2019
  • Western division commence on Friday 8 February 2019.

Coursework will not commence until students in the Western division start the school year. Students in class before Friday 8 February 2019 will undertake an orientation and revision program with their Aurora College teachers. Students in the Western division are welcome to join their Aurora classes earlier than Friday 8 February 2019, if their home school program allows.

To all our families and friends, I wish you a very merry holiday season and a happy and prosperous 2019.

Chris Robertson  | Principal

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Deputy’s report

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our students and staff for their commitment to Aurora College, once again this year.

Year 7-11 lesson orientations

Thank you to Virginia Cluff, Kathy Howard, Carolyn McMurtrie, Kaylene Taylor and our Year 7 ‘buddies’ who assisted in our orientation lessons for the new students who will be joining us in 2019. During the lesson, our new students were shown some of the various technology platforms that they will be engaging with next year, including Adobe Connect and Microsoft Teams. There were many engaged students, all excited at the prospect of communicating with teachers and peers in the new virtual learning environment.

Orientation lesson for some of our new students

New Teacher Induction Conference

On Tuesday 4 December, our new 2019 teachers were welcomed to Aurora. In a very full week, they completed the University of NSW’s mini-Certificate of Gifted Education and were also provided with a comprehensive introduction to Aurora. Welcome to our school!


Semester 2 reports were distributed to parents and Aurora College Coordinators last week. Parents have access to these reports via their email and Sentral portal. Please be aware that all students are working beyond their stage level through a compacted and enriched curriculum.

Coordinator of the term

Belinda McGregor at Orange High School has been awarded outstanding Aurora College Coordinator for Term 4. Belinda seamlessly transitioned into this important role this year. She was very quick in establishing herself in the role and she has kept us up to date with any emerging student concerns. She has made our shared students feel supported since she took the role on. Congratulations, Belinda! We appreciate your outstanding effort and commitment.

Farewell to staff

I would also like to thank our staff who will not be returning next year for the contributions they have made to Aurora College. They include: Dorothy Wakelin, Tania Williams; Julia Garvey; Susan Laris; Nicolet Westerhoff; Teagan Morgan; Heather O’Brien; Christine Black; Sean Harrington; Elizabeth Robson; Anthony Hogan; and Gracen Gu. We wish them the best of luck and hope to see them return to Aurora College in the near future.

Kids Helpline

Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25. Their professional, specialised counsellors, no matter who they are, where they live or what they want to talk about can help. Click on the kids helpline for more details.

What’s coming up next year?

Year 7-10 Residential School

The first Residential School next year for 7-10 will be held in Term 1 from Monday 4 March 2019 to Friday 8 March 2019 at the Katoomba Christian Convention Centre. In an ideal location right next to Scenic World, the conference centre is nestled amongst 13 hectares of mountainous bushland on the edge of the Blue Mountains National Park in Katoomba.

Year 6 Residential School

The Residential School next year for 6 will also be held in Term 1 from Monday 4 March 2019 to Friday 8 March 2019 at Sydney Olympic Park Lodge. The Lodge is an ‘urban camp’ nestled within the historic grounds of the Newington Armory.

Senior Residential School

The Residential School next year for Year 11 Agriculture, Year 11 & 12 Chemistry and Physics will be held in Term 1 from Monday 4 March 2019 to Friday 8 March 2019 at Naamaroo Chatswood, located next to Lane Cove National Park in Sydney.

Further information regarding the residential is available on the school website under latest news.

School holidays begin 19 December 2018 for all students. I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday.

Kathy Klados  | Deputy Principal

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Aurora students were treated with a masterclasses by Professor Markus Nordberg from CERN, who visited the coordinating office in Sydney.

Throughout November and December, we have held a number of engaging masterclasses that have triggered student interest and robust discussion online.

On 20 November, physicist Markus Nordberg from CERN visited the coordinating office. He had previously delivered a masterclass from Geneva, and followed up this with an incredibly inspiring talk that harnessed student interest in STEM careers and/or further study. He concluded his talk by encouraging students with the challenging tagline ‘Licence to Dream’.

Thanks to our wonderful partners at the Widening Participation Unit at Macquarie University, we have been able to engage a wide range of experts who generously share their study and career paths, current projects and interesting challenges at work.

Jane Messer, an author and educator in creative writing, workshopped some ideas with students about how to develop characters in stories. She was truly excellent and shared some great creative writing strategies and techniques that students responded very well too. Afterwards, she mentioned that the writing samples shared by our students were of about a 3rd year university level and she was very impressed! A follow-up session to consolidate knowledge has been organised for Tuesday 18th December.

Julian Droogan spoke to our students about global security and countering violent extremism. He communicated in a non-judgemental, factual and engaging manner which drew out the strength and maturity of our students when approaching a topic that often incites emotional reactions and inaccurate generalisations about some minority groups. Julian is a lecturer in International Security at Macquarie University and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism. He has advised the federal government on policy and practice relating to violent extremism and has even interviewed terrorists!

Kate Thompson | Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

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Faculty wrap-up


The Mathematics and Software Design and Development faculty have had a dynamic, collaborative, action-packed year in 2018. As the year draws to a close, it is important that I recognise the amazing impact our teachers have had within our faculty and on our students’ learning. We must farewell Julia Garvey, Heather O’Brien, Anthony Hogan and Gracen Gu, who will not be teaching with Aurora next year. We are so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with them and wish them all well.

All of our faculty members worked tirelessly to build high quality assessment tasks and shared teaching and learning resources. The major strength of our wonderful team is the eternal willingness of each person to evaluate, adapt and share everything they do. I must say a massive thank you to the entire team.

Our students are to be commended on their persistence and positivity in learning mathematics and software design in our virtual environment. They have adapted to new software platforms throughout the year and incorporated them as part of their everyday learning. Our staff, whether continuing with us or not, have all expressed to me their joy in working with such wonderful students.

Happy Holidays to all!

Kathy Howard| Head Teacher Mathematics


The Science Faculty has had a successful 2018.  Our students have enjoyed an array of science based learning activities, both in the virtual classroom setting and at our residential schools. During the Term 1 Residential School, Stage 4 visited Taronga Zoo & Stage 5 and 6 science students visited ANSTO to learn about Australia’s only nuclear reactor. Our Stage 6 science students also visited The University of Sydney and attended the Kick Start Science Program.

The highlight of the Term 4 Residential School in Canberra was the Year 8 Science Fair.  Year 8 students presented to staff and the Year 7 cohort, individual research projects in an area of particular scientific interest to them. The Science Fair winner for 2018 was Thomas Negus. His project explored the difference in hearing noted between boys and girls. At this residential, students also visited Questacon and The Ian Potter Foundation.  Students undertook first hand investigations and applied their problem solving skills to solve an identified STEM problem.

In our virtual classrooms, we have attended many masterclasses with an exciting line up of scientists, from a myriad of backgrounds. This has allowed our students to delve into the science, study and career paths, as well as future opportunities in the scientific community.

Year 10 sat the optional VALID exam this year and the results were exceptional. The highest score is a Band 6 and 65.5% of our cohort achieved a Band 6 and 24.1% scored a Band 5. We also had one of our students, Tynan Matthews (Year 10, Parkes High School) ,place 5th in the state. This is an amazing achievement and we congratulate him.

We also asked students in Year 8 and Year 9 to voluntarily sit the Sydney University Gifted and Talented exam at the end of 2017, to see if they could earn a highly sought-after place in the Gifted Science Program, held during the school holidays.  We were so pleased that Mackewin Strachan (Year 10, Nowra High School) received a place in this program and he attended the camp in July.

Our students also had the opportunity to enter the 2018 Australian National Chemistry Quiz. As reported previously, we achieved some outstanding results this year. Congratulations to students and staff!

During 2019, we plan to deliver more interactions with scientists via the Masterclass program and will continue to develop the practical aspects of our courses, delivered in partner schools and at our residential schools.

Virginia Cluff | Head Teacher Science


2018 has been a year of exciting opportunities for the English, HSIE & Languages faculty. Staff have enthusiastically engaged their students with a variety of concepts, ideas, online platforms and the English texts studied in class.

This year has also seen students learning Beginners Japanese and Beginners Italian in Stage 6, as well as our first Economics student completing the HSC and gaining excellent results in this course.

The school’s digital library has continued to expand and the student’s love of books and all things reading has been evident at each residential with a pop-up bookshop, where trade was extremely brisk.

I pass on my thanks and appreciation to my faculty for their tireless energy and work with the students and families within Aurora, as well as their support of me with the day to day running of this great team.

As we head into a long hot summer, the following link gives you 7 easy ideas on how to get your child reading more during the holidays. Our Librarian, Mrs Kaylene Taylor, has provided students with a list of suggested reading material if they are stuck for inspiration.

From all of the English, HSIE and Languages staff, we wish everyone who is a part of our Aurora community a joyous Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Carolyn McMurtrie | Head Teacher English, HSIE & Languages

Stage 3 opportunity class

As Term 4 draws to a close, we would like to congratulate Year 5 on their first term at Aurora College. In the orientation program, students have learnt many new skills, navigating the various programs, and learning to interact in classes online.

We have launched ourselves into learning about space debris and the impact on Earth. Using the Design Thinking Process, students investigated various solutions to retrieve this junk and solve the crisis. The prototypes were built, using materials from our STEM kits, tested, and through the reflection process, students determined if these designs were viable.

To support our learning, our masterclass from Rob Hollow at the CSIRO provided an opportunity to discuss and consolidate our understanding of lasers and harpoons as possible solutions being considered by NASA.

Looking forward to continuing this journey with you in 2019.

Serena McLean  | Assistant Principal

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Spotlight on … Connor Boyko

Where was your previous teaching appointment?

My previous engagement was at Cobar High School, between 2015 and 2017. It was the first time I had been west and it was a fantastic experience. I developed a strong understanding of rural life and can appreciate the benefits and difficulties of life in the remote areas of Australia.

What is your local community like?

I live in North Ryde, in Sydney. This is my first year living in the city and it has been a period of adjustment (particularly the noise). While I do miss the quiet of the country, the activities on offer in Sydney have kept me incredibly busy and I try to get involved with the community as much as possible.

What’s your favourite subject to teach?

My favourite subject to teach is English. It is always very rewarding when we get to engage in deep discussion on the texts studied in class.

I always encourage the students to share their often unique, and at times humorous, interpretations and perspectives which allows me to learn just as much as they do. Overall, I try to encourage the development of critical thinking skills in preparation for later life and by exploring texts in English we are able to glimpse how society and people evolve over time.

What do you like about teaching at Aurora?

I have enjoyed observing students with a passion for learning and interacting with like-minded peers as they develop, encourage and foster each other’s academic abilities. I have consistently been impressed by the level of maturity each Aurora student displays.

I have also enjoyed the residential schools that takes place bi-annually. Observing the students interacting in a cohesively respectful and accepting manner shows the quality of character of each of the Aurora students.

What are your other interests?

I am a big movie buff and will try and seek out films that I have not watched. I also love a good joke and often watch different comedic specials. I come from a coastal town, so whenever I get the chance I will try and do some fishing or swimming, as snorkelling and spear fishing were a large part of my childhood. I will also try and get to the gym as often as I can and occasionally play video games on my PS4.

Connor Boyko| English Teacher

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Bright lights

Hastings Secondary College celebrates the first Aurora student to graduate

Taylor at her school formal

Taylor was the first senior student at Hastings Secondary College to be a shared enrolment with Aurora College.

Taylor has a keen interest in animals and was disappointed when Hastings Secondary College didn’t have enough students to run an Agriculture class when she was entering Year 11.

Aurora College has enabled Taylor to continue her interest in animals and agriculture. She is hoping to study animal husbandry next year.

This photo was taken at Taylor’s recent school formal. Congratulations Taylor on successfully completing the HSC and embarking on the Aurora journey also.

Heather O’Brien | ACC – Hastings Secondary College, Port Macquarie Campus

No Electricity from Forests – video exposition

Morrow Taplin (Year 7, Wauchope High School) and his family were disturbed about new forestry legislation and proposals for three wood fired power stations in their area.

So, Morrow made a film expressing his concerns about the proposal’s impact on the environment. Morrow argues that this type of power station is already driving deforestation in the USA and Eastern Europe and will only worsen the impact of climate change.

No Electricity From Forests from One Off Makery on Vimeo.

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Students from Years 7-11 are invited to participate in our e-Mentoring program for 2019.

We have already received a number of applications from students for next year’s program and we are currently recruiting mentors to match the  students’ interests.

To opt into the program, students need to complete the online student profile and ask parents to complete and return the permission note.

Further information about the e-Mentoring Program is available on the school website, under the Learn with us tab.

Below is some of the feedback from our students who engaged in the program this year.

“Mentoring is so good! I’ll admit I was a bit wary at the beginning, but it’s actually been a really good experience for me. My mentor is really fun and we get along like a house on fire and it is always EXCITING to know I have a mentoring day coming up. Mentoring has taught me to manage my stress and my time, to find motivation, and it has also given me information about new careers that I hadn’t considered.” Alex Williams (Year 9, Parkes High School)

“Mentoring has been amazing this year! Speaking with a successful business women who has learnt all the tricks of the trade and how to survive in a male dominated industry was an awesome opportunity. She has shared her own experiences, as well as tips on time management and self respect techniques that have helped me to develop a better understanding of self and helped me with studying and school work.” Alleyne Gaut (Year 9, Parkes High School). 

Sharleen Mulawin | R/Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

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Library report

Too busy to read?

Try an audiobook and listen on the go! A number of new audiobook titles have been added to the Aurora College Digital Library. The Aurora College Digital Library is available 24/7. Ebooks, websites, audiobooks, and apps are included in our library, along with access to subscriber services such as: Worldbook Online; Clickview Online; Cosmos Magazine Online; and SpineOut. Access our Library via your student portal homepage.


Some of our students have started reviewing for SpineOut, an interactive magazine from the team at Good Reading. SpineOut also publishes creative student contributions in words, art, film or music. If your child is interested in seeing their creative work published, please encourage them to contact me for further details. To access SpineOut, students need to log in to their portal account and follow the links from the OLIVER homepage. If other students would like to consider becoming reviewers, please send me an email expressing your desire to review for SpineOut and I can get the permission notes out to you – and yes – you get to keep the books you review!

Summer Reading Challenge 2018-2019

It’s on again! The Aurora College Summer Reading Challenge! It is open to students from Year 5 – 12. Read anything over the summer (let’s be honest – you’ll have more time!) and yes, audio books will count. Send me a quick email to tell me about the book and you go into the draw for Summer Reading Challenge Prizes that will be presented at the Term 1 Residential School in 2019. The Summer Reading Challenge runs from December 21 2018 until February 22 2019. Full details are on the flyer – here.

Kaylene Taylor | Teacher Librarian

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Student work samples


As part of the Year 9 Adaptations and Transformations: Romeo and Juliet unit of work, students had to devise a 3-4 minute character monologue based on one of the contemporary issues raised within the play for a character within the play. Not only did students need to perform this monologue, they then needed to write a reflection on another students performance to assess the effectiveness of the performance in communicating the complexity of a contemporary issue.

Peer review by Alleyne Gaut (Year 9, Parkes High School)

Peer review by Ellie Giger (Year 9, Orange High School)

Year 10 studied the Shakespeare play of Macbeth through the lens of literary value and why this text has stood the test of time and is still relevant to an audience today.

The essay question was: Does Shakespeare’s play Macbeth still embody the ethical and political values of contemporary society?

Students were able to successfully draw parallels between the characters and themes in the play with modern political and historical events. Enjoy the worksamples below.

Amber Ahsan (Dubbo College South Campus )

Dave Azana (Young High School)

Ayla Hausen (Kyogle High School)

Tynan Matthews (Parkes High School)

Luke Wilson (Cowra High School)

Liam Wymer (Young High School)

Year 11 Extension English requires students to complete their own IRP (Independent Research Project). The task required them to:

Research and analyse ONE text and its manifestations in one or more recent cultures. Selected texts will reflect the ideas examined in the unit, The Archetypal Quest. Create a multimodal presentation that demonstrates your understanding of this module through your analysis of these texts.

Both students looked at very different texts and their manifestations.

Lauren Fisher (Willyama High School) delved into Dante’s ‘Inferno’ and the clear manifestation that this epic poem took in the form of a Criminal Minds episode titled: ‘Burn’.

Sam Greville (Broken Hill High School) dealt with the weighty texts of Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ and Ridley Scott’s ‘Blade Runner’.

Click here to read Lauren’s work and view her PowerPoint Presentation below.

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Click here to read Sam’s work and view his PowerPoint Presentation below.

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Carolyn McMurtrie | Head Teacher English, HSIE & Languages

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Connect locally, learn globally

What good and different opportunities exist in your hometown?

We have beautiful beaches without the crowds. We are surrounded by lovely natural environments with plenty of places to explore, bushwalk and go camping.

What is your hometown known for?

Milton is a farming area, best known for its dairy farms. The Milton Show is a popular annual event. Milton is becoming a well known tourist destination. Many people visit the area for its lovely countryside, nearby beaches, restaurants, cafes and shopping.

What do you like the most about your community?

Leila loves to play cricket and has a dog called Obi

Friendly people and lots of opportunities to take part in sporting teams and community events. Some great community events held here include Artfest, Milton Show and the Blessing of the Fleet parade.

What do you like doing?

Playing cricket and netball, going to the beach, reading, cooking and visiting friends. I also love playing with my dog, Obi.

How many people are there in your school and year group at your local school?

Just over 700 students at MPS  – there are 115 Year 5’s this year.

Can you tell us something interesting about where you live?

Near Milton is a mountain called ‘Pigeon House Mountain’. It has an unusual shape and was named by Captain Cook as he sailed along the coast. It is a popular place to climb and gives a great view of the surrounding area.

What do you hope to do when you leave school?

I would like to become a scientist.

What’s the best thing about learning and being part of Aurora?

It’s really good because it’s more challenging and we get to meet and make friends with people from different parts of NSW that we wouldn’t meet otherwise.

Why choose Aurora? What has the experience been like so far?

Great teachers and we learn a lot, especially in science and maths. Our assignments are challenging, but really fun and enjoyable.

Leila (Year 5, Milton Public School)

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Where are they now?

2018, where to begin?

After completing the HSC I was offered a place in the Bachelor of Agriculture & Agricultural Science course at UNE and also a place in the Bachelor of Agricultural Science course at Charles Sturt University.

I was really excited that I was accepted to further my education with these degrees, but I decided to defer. I instead accepted an apprenticeship with Essential Energy, as an Electrical Technician based in Lismore.

Working for Essential Energy, I have been able to live on my own and make many new friends. I joined an Alstonville women’s football team, and surprisingly enough, we made it to the finals and finished just out of the top 3.

In my apprenticeship, I get to learn and work in the distribution branch of Essential Energy, from electrician fault and emergency work, switching of the network, and underground distribution to linesman. I work climbing poles, maintaining and repairing the poles and wires that keep you all connected to the grid.

I get to travel quite a lot. A day starts in Lismore, and through it, I may go to Maclean, Murwillumbah, Yamba, Tweed Heads, Kyogle and many more.

I fly once a month to Orange and spend the week at TAFE, where I am completing a CERT III in Electrotechnology Electrician, along with 10 other apprentices at Essential Energy from across NSW. While in Orange, we engage in the local trivia nights, where I can say Aurora Chemistry has come in handy with winning those bonus questions. We also go bowling, see movies, play pool and enjoy social nights.

Moving away to a new town was a big step. Leaving behind family and best friends was tough, but worth it, as I have been able to experience and afford new things. I’ve already booked my first overseas holiday, with many more to come later. I’ve also been to my first concert and am going to my first festival with my brother and friends later this year.

I have kept in close contact with my fellow Aurora ‘17’ friends and have even managed to visit some in their hometown. I am excited to see what the future has to hold, but at the moment, I am grateful for what I am doing and how far I have come since finishing school.

Elijah | Past Walcha High School and Aurora College student

Build your story

Master Builders Association of NSW would like to introduce – Build Your Story

Build Your Story was developed in partnership with the NSW Government Department of Industry to provide an online resource for students, parents, careers, advisers and teachers to source up to date and relevant apprenticeship and career information for the building and construction industry.

Register your interest to keep up to date with the latest career information including;

  • Work experience opportunities
  • School presentations to school or interest groups
  • Pre-apprenticeship programs
  • Available apprenticeship opportunities
  • Updates on VET program changes

Register now!

Steve Magner | Industry Careers Coordinator – Masters Builders Association of NSW

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eSafety program for primary schools

Safer Internet Day 2019

Aurora College will continue our collaborations with the Office of the eSafety Commissioner in 2019.

Our next event is to promote the 2019 Safer Internet Day (SID). Students in Years 4, 5 and 6 from NSW Public Schools are invited to attend an online session – Your digital super power: Using the 4Rs to create positive online communities.

These classes are scheduled for Tuesday 5 February at 11:30 am and Thursday 7 February at 9:30 am (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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Aurora College: C/- Mowbray Public School635 Mowbray Road LANE COVE NORTH NSW 2066Phone: 1300 287 629; Email:; Website:; Facebook:


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