High Notes, Vol 14 No 31, October 11 2013

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From the Principal

Welcome Back
Welcome back to staff, students, parents and Old Boy coaches and all volunteers. Term 4 is always an enjoyable one as the stress of Year 12 HSC exams gradually passes. There seems to be more time to get reports and marking done and programs for the new year written. Also, we have daylight saving to lengthen our leisure time. Some summer sports competitions start this Saturday.

High Talent
Well done to our International Competitions and Assessments for schools (ICAS) medal winners:  Shang Lin (Year 8) - Computer Skills; James Goh and Vishal Karnamadakala (Year 9) - Writing; and Kevin Liang (Year 10) - Writing. It was great work by Nicolas Ooi to qualify for a Duke of Edinburgh gold award. At the CHSSA Schoolboys Shield Tournament, High teams filled all places – a wonderful effort!  Glanden Zheng and Lenny Han (gold), Eddy Belokopytov and Edward Koo (silver) and Barry Wu and Vincent Bui (bronze). Congratulations to all concerned on this dominant performance.

Foundation Day 2013
At our 130th Foundation Day assembly., Bob Dalziel spoke about leadership in terms of vision, follow through with timing, knowing when to act and not act and staying consistent in your goals. He gave good advice from his experience in the corporate world about how to keep objectives simple and to focus. My address to the assembly is reprinted below.

Special guest Bob Dalziel (SHS 1963), staff, students, parents and Prefect Interns for 2013-14, welcome to our annual Foundation Day Assembly.  This assembly marks an important milestone in our school’s history.  As well it serves as a rite of passage for our student leaders.

"Fifty years ago the big event at High was the construction and dedication of the Killip Wing on October 4 by E. Wetherell, Minister for Education. In attendance were: Gough Whitlam, Dr Harold Wyndham, Director-General of Education, and former Headmaster James Killip (1936-51) in whose honour the building was named. In his dedication address, Dr Wyndham praised Killip for his ‘devotion to the art of teaching’ and for his high personal standards. He declared that of all the people who had influenced him, none had as much as Killip. This was high praise from the architect of the NSW secondary education system - ‘the Wyndham Scheme’ which lasted from 1966 to 2000. Wyndham unveiled the portrait of Killip by Judy Cassab which now hangs in the staircase of the main building.

"In 1963, the Headmaster Ken Andrews, retired after 9 years of service in the role. His association with the school spanned thirty-two years. In his farewell message, he commented on ‘the powerful influence which history and tradition exerted in the school’. He believed that these traditions were forged by the ‘standards and achievements of the many’. The standards he singled out were related to scholarship, sportsmanship and personal integrity. He urged all boys to contribute to the continuance of these standards by good conduct, high achievements and loyal service.  Much of what he said 50 years ago resonates strongly with the High values and standards of today’s students.

"During Andrews’ term of office, the school canteen was established and operated by the Ladies Auxiliary; extensions and improvements were made to the Fairland Pavilion and McKay Playing Fields; the rowing sheds were improved and the Killip Wing completed. In recent years these same assets have undergone refurbishment and improvement. Andrews was known as a ‘firm and just administrator’, giving praise, encouragement and home truths as appropriate to the boys.

"In 1963 the renowned programmer and textbook writer, Frank Allsop, retired as Head of English as did Alex Mitchell who served at High for twenty years. The big news of 1963 was High’s victory in the GPS rugby premiership.  In 1946, high shared the premiership with St Joseph’s and the second XV were co-premiers with Shore in 1947. In 1963, natural talent, good luck and fine weather were hailed as the reasons for High’s success. They had the benefit of a tour in May where they played three preseason games in Canberra, Wagga Wagga and Melbourne. Even then, the great team had a draw against Riverview and a close loss against Newington. With future internationals Phil Smith and John Brass in the centres and two quick wingers in Clooney and Monson, the team tried to play open, running rugby.

"As well as celebrating our Foundation and our ideals at this assembly, we honour our Prefect Interns who have been elected from the four electoral colleges: 2013 Prefects, Year 11 students, Year 10 students and staff.  Headmasters at High have been inducting Prefects since 1910, when the first Senior Prefect, later Sir Charles MacDonald, was appointed by John Waterhouse. McDonald Wing is named after our first Senior Prefect.  Our system is different these days in that Prefects have pre-qualification requirements. They also have to be elected. Then, the successful candidates, who will be given their badges today, have to serve three terms of successful Internship prior to being formally invested next year in term three.

"Our Prefect leaders need to appreciate that when they take an oath of office that they are giving a serious undertaking to serve the school and its staff and students. They are following in the footsteps of students who have contributed a great deal to the tradition and reputation of the school as a place of scholarship, sportsmanship and fellowship. Taking the oath should inspire boys to dedicate themselves to augment the reputation of high by their actions in office.

"Reflect on a saying attributed to Buddha: What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do know. Think of the promise you are making, think of the actions you need to take to fulfil that pledge. In the weeks and months ahead become a deserving school leader by what you do now. Don’t relax or rely on what you have been.

"Let us all contemplate what has always been and what should always be the foundation of our school – the pursuit of excellence in scholarship, sportsmanship and fellowship. I congratulate the School Prefects on their qualification for the ballot and successful election. I wish them the best of luck in carrying out their roles. Try to emulate the ‘standards and achievements of the many’ and make us proud of you."

Summer Sports Assembly
Highly talent Australian fast bowler Patrick Cummins was the guest at our Summer Sports Assembly this week. He spoke about his love of sports and having a ‘crack’ at lots of them all the way through school. He described how competing against two older brothers in the backyard honed his skills and made him fiercely competitive. He stressed the necessity of balance in life and models it by mixing an international cricket career with studying for a Bachelor of Business at UTS. My address to the assembly is reprinted below:

"Special guest Patrick Cummins, coaches, staff, GPS sports teams, parents and students – welcome to the 2013 October Summer Sports Assembly. Today we carry on the tradition of honouring and introducing those teams who are commencing their GPS competitions in term 4. This year basketball, cricket and water polo are our featured teams.

"Water Polo has stepped up the intensity of its training and competition play this year. Under the exuberant leadership of MIC Rhiannon Davis, the depth of the program has increased. The results at CHS Knockout level improved this year, with the gap between us and benchmark schools like Kirrawee, narrowing. Thank you to our coach Lachlan Hollis who did such a good job with our boys. He will be missed. With improved access to training facilities, increased frequency of training sessions and more players, water polo is developing well.

"The cricket program is suffering from a lack of in-school teacher leadership. It is very hard to sustain strong lines of communication, organisation and recruitment without a teacher MIC. I want to thank Siva Valliapan for his work as MIC last season. Also, I want to acknowledge the dedication and enthusiasm shown by Tim Roslin in his time as First Grade Coach. Hugo Richards has done a great job trying to hold the program together as MIC while coaching a team. However, High cricket urgently needs to go back to basics. We need a stronger organisation with more teachers and parents involved. We need to recruit and supervise more coaches and train more team managers. We have talented cricketers in the school. We should make sure they want to play cricket. The competition format is interesting and varied. The financial resources are available. It is imperative now to rebuild a cricketing culture that grows its self-belief. I call upon members of staff to provide the lead in this revival. Cricket is our national game. Let’s get better at playing it!

"High basketball is in a rebuilding phase.  Winning the second grade premiership earlier this year was a terrific accomplishment, indicating our depth as a basketball school. Despite not being able to emulate recent years with successes at CHS Knockout and GPS competitions, first grade has started the preseason in fine style in the Sydney Shootout Competition winning their first four games and qualifying for the curtain raiser final against Scots before a Sydney Kings game. The program is about supplying quality coaching in depth to build skills and self-belief. Our young players join in the culture characterised by dedication in defence and focus in attack. We believe in ourselves, each other, our leadership and in our program.

"I want to congratulate Ben Hayman for his consistent commitment over many years as Coaching Coordinator, MIC and First Grade Coach. The High basketball culture owes a great deal to his drive and dedication. Alex Hayman has shown he has the ability to get the most out of individual players as Second Grade Coach and Junior Development Coordinator. He has helped consolidate our skill base. The Basketball Committee provides great input into the program through financial management, running the Saturday kiosk, supporting functions and marketing the program. Paul Hoad has been a terrific Treasurer. Bruce Gordon continues to give a great deal of his time supporting the teams at game time with strapping and first aid. He is a stalwart of High basketball. George Krastev shows his wonderful commitment to basketball and High. Wayne Baldock continues to give a great deal to the program as do Darren McQuillan and Angie Ward. Thank you to all concerned.

"To win at sport you need tenacity. Perseverance grows from optimism. In psychology, cognitive therapists teach people how to be more optimistic. Martin Seligman, the father of the positive psychology movement, published Learned Optimism in 1990. It was followed by Optimistic Child in 1995. These texts explained his message that optimistic thinking is an important ingredient in success. Encouragement, enthusiasm and enjoyment are cornerstones of optimism. Seligman and his associates tested successful people for their optimism. They found that champions manage to give optimistic explanations for negative events. Optimism fuels resilience. Resilience supports perseverance. Champions persevere more than their opponents. They gain strength to persevere from their optimistic approach. To be more optimistic you need to suppress automatic negative thoughts. Focus on rational alternative thoughts that can lead you towards more frequent optimistic explanations for negative events. We can all train ourselves to become more optimistic.

"Who is responsible for the problem? Champions see the external causes when things go wrong, as well as accurately seeing their own mistakes. They put their own performance in its proper perspective. Optimists maintain a healthy balance between excusing and blaming themselves. How long-lasting is the problem? Is it some of the time?  Optimists are realistic when they assess how long lasting a problem is. How big is the cause of the problem? Optimists can attack their problems because they quickly pinpoint specific goals. The message is not to be overwhelmed by the challenges that you face.

"In all our sports we can be more successful if we use the lessons of positive psychology and become more optimistic in our thinking. Congratulations to all boys selected in GPS competition teams. Good luck for the season. "
Dr K A Jaggar

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From the Office

Applying for Early Leave

If your son needs to leave early he is required to bring an early leave note. This note must be signed by either Mr Barris, Mr Dowdell or Mr Prorellis before 8:55 am and handed in to the Main Office immediately after. Each letter should be signed by a parent or guardian with the name, date and roll class of your son printed clearly. Your son needs to pick up a leave pass from the Main Office before he leaves the school.

Applying for Leave

  1. You must have a Parent Portal account
  2. Go to https://parent.sbhs.net.au/reference-documents/
  3. Log in to the Parent Portal
  4. Click “Applying for Leave”
  5. Download the “Student Leave of Absence Application Form”

Cash Register Opening Times

Due to the change of bell times the cash register will be closed at 2.00pm on Mondays, Tuesdays & Fridays. Before school and first break register times (be it recess or lunch) remain the same on these days.

There are now 2 cash registers open on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday. The second register is located opposite the Deputy’s Office (Mr Barris).
Sharon Kearns
School Administrative Manager

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Sydney High School Cadet Unit

Annual Field Exercise

During the first week of the September Holidays, Sydney High School Cadet Unit once again participated in the Annual Field Exercise (AFX), at Singleton Military Area. The Annual Field Exercise is a statewide camp, where army cadets from across New South Wales converge on the Singleton Military Area for a week of field training in the bush.

Sydney High School Cadet Unit, along with 21 ACU Penrith formed Charlie Company - one of four companies in 23 AAC Battalion. In the company, CUO Nelson Tang was appointed Administration Officer, WO2 Tom Du was Company Sergeant Major, CPL Damian Duong was Platoon Commander, CPL Kevin Andrew was Platoon Sergeant, and Section Commanders were CPLs Benjamin Ling, Aidan Chow, Ethan May and Victor Oh.

The Cadet NCOs led the cadets of Charlie Company in the weeklong Battalion competition against other Companies. Through the week, companies were assessed on their levels of morale, discipline, teamwork and initiative, in conjunction with level of training and activities.p>

This year’s exercise was themed upon ‘Saving Private Ryan’, and involved the gathering of intelligence from other companies. All cadets were assigned an exercise ID card, with an ID number, company, and special role, such as digger, medic, radio operator or engineer, and were encouraged to gather as much information and ID details of cadets from the other three companies, with this information then compiled in an intelligence report.

UpUpon arrival at Singleton, cadets had ‘hit the ground running’, quickly securing an area of bushland and setting up the company lines to establish a temporary base suitable for the 7-day occupation. In the following days, cadets lived in the field, and participated in a range of activities encompassing teambuilding, navigation, day and night patrolling and military skills.

Highlights included a visit to the School of Infantry, as well as shooting WTTS – a simulated shooting range with air compressed F88 Austeyrs. Cadets were also able to observe 2 Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles and use NINOX Night vision equipment.

The combined efforts, teamwork and leadership from cadets of Sydney High and 21 ACU Penrith saw our company winning the 23 Battalion AFX Trophy at the end of the week. This marked the second year in a row for the Sydney High School Cadet Unit to win the 23 Battalion AFX Trophy.

AFX 2013 had been a success for the unit, as an invaluable learning experience for all cadets. For many new recruits, the experience of living in the bush for a week had proven to be both fun and rewarding. For more senior cadets and NCOs, the camp had built upon existing knowledge, furthering their leadership skills. Altogether, all cadets gained skills and forged friendships that will likely last them well beyond their cadet careers.
Tom Du
Cadet Company Commander

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Enrolment Now Open

Enrolment for Cadets is now open until the end of October. All interested students wishing to join cadets at Sydney High are encouraged to go to the Orderly Room (Blue and brown door, next to the High Store) after school on Tuesday afternoon.

For more information, look out for announcements in the Daily Notices for upcoming recruitment meetings, or ask any senior cadet or NCO (cadet with rank). Cadets is held every Tuesday afternoon after school until 5:30pm.

To join the Australian Army Cadet Unit at SHS, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a student in Years 7-12 at Sydney High School
  • You must be a citizen or permanent  resident  in Australia
  • Be able to attend all unit activities

All High boys that meet the above criteria wishing to participate in Cadets are invited to join.

You and your parents may wish to know what activities cadets do and what it involves. For further information about cadets, the SHSCU website is http://www.sydneyhigh.org.au/cadets/, or visit the Australian Army Cadets website http://www.armycadets.gov.au/

Tom Du
Cadet Company Commander

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High Water Polo

Over the course of two seasons, Water Polo at Sydney High has grown significantly, proving ourselves after making the 4th round of the CHS competition for the second year in a row over Sydney Tech for First grade,. Playing through the tournament to come, we placed second in the round robin over strong teams such as Caringbah, and Endeavour, before losing to National Champions Kirrawee.

Due to our successes in the past season, Water Polo at High has expanded extensively, with the creation of a total of four full teams for the 2013-2014 season. Through vigorous pre-season training, and selection trials in the holidays under the supervision of Max Chien and MIC Ms Davis, Water Polo at High has strengthened significantly.

The 14s, coached by Ms. Davis, and 16s, coached by Darren Chien, contain a mixture of new and seasoned players, and both should be competitive for the upcoming season. For the first time, High has both a Second Grade and First Grade team in the newly expanded Opens competition. Led by Jonathan Chew as captain, and coach Shaun Pak, we look forward to the contribution of the Second Grade team to Water Polo in the future. First Grade, coached by Paul Kerrison, are stronger than ever, and are looking forward to a great season.

Big thanks to all coaches, and to Mr Codey for training the junior squad on Thursdays. 
Michael Fung
Captain, 1st Grade Water Polo

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SHS Rowing Committee


Saturday 12 October 2013

at High Rowing Sheds, Abbotsford

  • Junior Rowing Parents 8.00 – 9.00am
  • Year 10 Eights Parents 10.00 – 11.30am

Parents … this is a very important meeting to attend so you know what is happening during the rowing season.


Highlights Include:

  • The season calendar with important dates and camps identified
  • The weekly rowing schedule
  • Outline of what’s expected of the boys and how parents can contribute
  • Study/tuition sessions at camps
  • Outline of camp duties for Y10 Eights parents
  • Who’s who? Meet the MIC, Coaches, Old Boys and Committee
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High Family

The Bulletin Board for Sydney Boys High P & C.

If you would like to have any parent community news or upcoming events included in High Society, please contact Ian Sweeting P&C President This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Changed P&C General Meeting Start Time

The next P&C General meeting will be held at the new start time of 6:30pm on

Monday 14th October
Staff Common Room

Based on discussion and feedback at the previous two general meetings, the P&C has decided to move the P&C general meetings forward from 7:30pm to 6:30pm to provide an earlier finish for attendees.

This will be the start time for all P&C general meetings unless noted otherwise.

The school calendar will be updated to show the new start times.

Please contact the P&C at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you have any questions regarding this change.

Thank you

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Learner Driver Workshop

Free Graduated Licensing Scheme Workshops for Learner Driver Parents in Woollahra

Young drivers are three times more likely to be involved in casualty crashes. That's why the Roads and Maritime Services has introduced a new licensing scheme, with more supervised driving practice for learner drivers.

To help parents in supervising learner drivers, the Roads and Maritime Services has set up a FREE 2 hour workshop for parents that offers practical advice on how to help learner drivers become safer drivers.  

A FREE parents' workshop will be conducted by David Riches and hosted by Woollahra Council on Thursday November 7th at Woollahra Council Chambers (536 New South Head Road, Double Bay) from 6 pm – 8 pm.

Early bookings are essential, by phoning Woollahra Council on 9391 7112 now to reserve your place, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

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