High Notes, Vol 9 No 8, March 21 2008
From the Principal
The Sydney High School Foundation
The great value to High of the Sydney High School Foundation is that it can make legal agreements covering extended periods of time and it can hold real and personal property in its own name. Over the last 50 years, this school has acquired and developed a great asset, the Outterside Centre, valued in excess of $4.5 million. The Foundation holds a Deed of Licence with Centennial Parklands, giving the students of this school 20 years of access to 5 playing fields and a Pavilion – vital to our membership of the AAGPS. The Foundation holds money in Trust, invested on the school’s behalf and it makes annual disbursements to the school. The Foundation runs the High Store. It performs these three important services to the school that cannot be provided by employees of the state: asset acquisition, extended agreements, Trust and fund management. There is great pressure on The Foundation (run by volunteers) to work its assets to finance its own assets maintenance and administration.
I have heard that conversations and remarks by some parents, staff and Old Boys are undermining the image of the Foundation in the School Family. I would appreciate it if negative, ill informed comments about ‘The Foundation’ ceased. Without it, we would become just another state selective school.
Special guest Fin Murray, coaches, parents, rowing staff, rowers, students, - good morning and welcome to this unique rowing assembly. Due to Olympic selection trials the AAGPS was forced to accept a Wednesday date rather than our traditional Saturday fixture. Tomorrow will be a first for High rowing in having a mid-week Head of the River and in another first, we will have the biggest ever representation by our school at this prestigious regatta, with all of Years 7 and 8 in attendance.
"This morning I would like to put the sport into perspective for those who know nothing of the sport or for those who assume rowing is a pretty easy activity.
"Rowing is a difficult sport to excel at. Put yourself in the position of the rowing coach. First you need 8 big, strong, fit boys who can ergo. Then you need these boys to learn a multifaceted skill – various phases of the sweep oar stroke – while balancing in a relatively unstable environment. Then you have to train them to perform this skill synchronously and with the same power on either side of the racing shell. Finally, you have to have them repeat this process exactly between 150 and 180 times. Anyone who plays golf will tell you how difficult it is for one person to do this for half as many times, let alone eight. Let us therefore respect the efforts made by our crews to prepare themselves for their high stakes test.
"Since 1999, the Head of the River has been won twice in times under 5 minutes and 50 seconds. The average winner’s time is 355 seconds – 5 minutes 55 seconds. The crews propel the racing shells at 5.63 metres per second with an average speed from a stationary start of more than 20 kilometres per hour. The first performance target for our crews is to row within 10% more than the winner’s time – 6 minutes 30 for the first VIII. Our mean time since 1999 has been 6 minutes 28 seconds, so the rowing program has achieved that benchmark in the medium term. The margin of excellence can be considered as < 5% in timed sports with a distance element. A good row for our school is therefore 372 seconds - 6 minutes 12 seconds. That is our second performance target. Our third goal, achieved in 1999, is to row within 2% above the winner’s time – 362 seconds - 6 minutes 2. Similar benchmark calculations can guide other crews in goal setting. On your behalf I want to wish all crews the best of luck in their races and urge them not to settle for less than second target performances. Let us focus on what we can do and forget about what we can’t do.
"Sports with overnight camps and extended travel components take a great deal of management. Thank you to Mr Con Barris for his administration of the rowing program yet again. Oliver Wilson has done a great job with the first VIII this year, getting them to peak late and bring down their times. George Barris has guided the second VIII well with the assistance of David Luscombe. Thank you to coaches James Gerofi, James Mackay and Tom Hurrell for their work with the IVs. Con Barris worked with the first Year 10 VIII with the assistance of Robbie Girdler and Liam Bennett on the second year 10 VIII. Mark Gainford managed the Year 9 quads training with the assistance of Yaegan Doran and Dominic Grimm. Everett Coan and Doug Hespe looked after the Year 8 quads with Joe Banh, Chong Shao, Blake Angell, Andrew Leungg and Adam Farrow-Palmer in support. Keeping boats and crews on the water and gear maintained were: Chris Watson as Manager, David Daish our evergreen Boatman, Viv Littlewood and Sean Creer as assistants to the program at the Outterside Centre, Serdar Bolen as fitness trainer and bus driver, Jason Tassell as weights trainer and Tim Wilson as our long time trailer tower. With Julie Blomberg and the Rowing Committee taking care of fundraising, catering, overnight camp management and regatta administration, this group of over thirty people sustains and supports our students. I want to thank you all sincerely for all your efforts this season.
"My message to rowers and any team competitor in the school is a simple one – carry out your assigned task to the utmost of your ability. Albert Einstein, the great physicist, observed that: setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means." Perhaps Albert overstated the case but in team sports someone leading the way by focussing on doing his designated job right to the end, can be inspiring, even heroic. Distractions caused by mistakes and big occasion stressors can really affect performances negatively. Stanley Allyn, a former CEO of the National Cash Register Co, concluded: “there is no use worrying about things over which you have no control, and if you have control, you can do something about them instead of worrying." As athletes, you have to clear your minds and focus on the mechanics of your assigned role. Don’t look around during the race. Don’t think about consequences or analyse performance – just get stuck in and do your job. Focus on the next ten or twenty strokes. When you hear the coxswain count down the last ten give it your all and have nothing left at the finish.
"Our special guest today is Fin Murray (1994). Fin rowed in the Head of The River for Sydney High
in 1994. Initially he didn't want to be in a senior crew so he could spend more time at the beach
- but thankfully Mr Barris twisted his arm and started his rowing career which has continued ever
since. Fin feels lucky enough to have rowed in crews with many great athletes at Sydney and UTS
rowing clubs as well as in England, Ireland, Germany and America. Although he never raced in the
Olympics, he did go out with an OIympian for a few years which he says is maybe even more of a
challenge. He was twice a winner of the interstate youth 8 race and winner of the quad sculls at
the Henley Royal Regatta in England. Fin wanted to design planes when he left school but somehow
he graduated with a degree in architecture from The University of Sydney. Fin enjoys travelling,
drawing, sailing, surfing, riding his single speed bike and trying to fit less into his days. He
is now racing surf boats at Bronte surf club and running his own architectural business. Fin
acted as Consultant to our VIII in the 2006-07 season. Please join with me in welcoming back to
High this morning, Mr Fin Murray."
Our Year 7 excursion to the Art Gallery and the State Library of NSW gave students the opportunity to enrich their knowledge and understanding of their current learning module: Biographies and Autobiographies. It was exciting to see the boys engaging critically and creatively with the diverse artworks on display in both venues. The following reflections are indicative of this thoughtful and intelligent engagement:
'...What I enjoyed about the day was seeing the State Library and the Doug Moran prize. I
particularly liked one portrait called “Mel In The Middle” by Chris Hall. It portrays
a person standing in the desert with a broken down car, holding a cordial bottle and some coke
bottles, probably to get fuel from a passing car. I liked it because it's so normal. It portrays
something that could happen to anyone in such a way that it makes us feel for the person and feel
“Thank God I'm not in that person's shoes!”...'
'...When I went to the art gallery yesterday I enjoyed a painting by Louise Hearman. She based
her painting on a boy she met when shopping. The boy was named Ned. The painting used strong
visual contrast, an air of mystery and a strong sense of foreboding. The eyes especially stood
'...What I enjoyed most about the Art gallery was the Heath Ledger painting. The intricate facial
expressions created by Vincent Fantauzzo made it look like a photograph. The shadows are put in
to make it realistic and it gives character to Heath Ledger. I liked the arrangement in grey and
black because it showed the sad and lonely life. The dark colours add to the mood of the
To further support the 'Biography and Autobiography' module undertaken this term the English Faculty has provided links to the Roald Dahl website and the Biography Maker website on Moodle. This provides students with additional opportunities to pursue their interest in biographical writing.
From the Office
Letters Re Absence/Lateness/ Early Leave
If your son has an early leave note he is required to have his note signed by either Mr Beringer, 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.
The Principal must approve all leave applications.
Sydney Boys High School: The Foundation Years
At the opening of the Sydney High Schools, George Reid, the Minister for Public Instruction, is reported to have said that “he had felt it his duty to get the very best teachers he could, both male and female”. By all accounts it would seem that he was successful in doing so.
However, Sydney Boys High School, in its early years, had some trouble retaining these masters once their services had been obtained. One of the masters, in 1889, complained to the Chief Inspector of Schools:
'I was the fifth master appointed to the school and there have been fifteen appointments since, of which only seven are still at the school. '
Part of the high turn-over can be put down to the fact that the masters at Sydney High were seriously underpaid when compared with the salaries offered, for example, at Sydney Grammar School, which was also supported by government funds. (A ministerial report of 1889 recorded that "the Sydney Grammar School costs the State more per annum than the five High Schools put together".)
The poor salaries and lack of promotional opportunities in a system that eventually offered only two boys’ high schools in the whole colony meant that some teachers went on to careers in the private school system. For others, however, a teaching post was merely a stepping-stone to greater things. Several masters from Sydney High went on to play important roles in the history of Australia as lawyers, soldiers, politicians and academics. (Their biographies will be published in the coming weeks.)
It must also be noted that there were no staff facilities at all in the old Castlereagh Street building. One master, who served in 1888, recalled:
In those days there was absolutely no provision for the Masters' convenience, we flung our hats and bags on any old window sill, for lunch we turned the boys out of a Class Room and bestrode their dirty forms [fixed desks and chairs].
Not all were full-time employees, either. The lecturer in French at Sydney University, Dr E Thibault, was a part-time teacher of modern languages at both the boys’ and girls’ schools, although other full-time masters were also known to teach French.
The 1933 school history sums up the early masters as follows:
'The whole staff were, in the words of Dr Doak, “Lovable good fellows”. They were all exceptionally keen on firmly establishing the Sydney High School as a first-class scholastic institution, and to this end always impressed on the early pupils the necessity of doing well in the public examinations, thus proving that the Sydney High School - the first School of a new system - was equal to the other secondary schools then in existence. '
New Library & Performing Arts Centre
Tax Deductible 125th Anniversary Project
We have a bold vision for a two stage Library & Performing Arts Centre. With advances in information technology, there is a pressing need to create a facility which is able to adapt and keep pace with meeting the increasing needs of our students. The estimated cost of the combined project is $4m. Stage one requires $1.8m; we have $400k. A new tax deductible monthly giving program has been introduced to help fund our development goal.
We have implemented an arrangement with ANZ Bank for automatic monthly deductions from a nominated credit card. You can elect to give $50, $40, $30 or $20 each month for a period of twelve months. Your nominated amount, along with your name and credit card details will be sent to the bank electronically. At the end of the financial year, the school will issue an annual statement as evidence of tax deductible donations. You can opt in or out of the scheme provided you notify the school in writing five working days before the fifteenth day of each month.
Thank you for helping to make a difference for our boys.
SYDNEY BOYS HIGH SCHOOL - MONTHLY PAYMENT ADVICE
Daytime Phone Number: ___________________________________________
_________________________________________ Postcode _____
Email Address: __________________________________________________
I authorise SBHS to make the following deductions from the credit card nominated below:
Card Type: ____ Mastercard ____ Visa
Monthly deduction for 12 months: ___ $50 ___ $40 ___ $30 ___ $20
Card Number: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Expiry Date: ____ / ____
Cardholder’s Name: _____________________________________________________________ [please print]
Cardholder’s Signature: _______________________________________ Date: _________
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From the Rugby Master’s desk
The Year 7 “Try Rugby Day” held on Friday 14th March was a great success due the effective planning and organisation of Serdar Bolen, our Junior Rugby Development Officer. All the activities were appropriate for the skill and experience level of our students, capably led by several of our junior rugby coaches and a number of our senior rugby players. What really made the whole day work was the enthusiasm shown by all the Year 7 students, as evident from the photos taken during the day.
At the end of the day about 40 boys indicated that they would give rugby a go, which would mean that we could field two teams this season and with 10 or so more players could even get a third team in the 13 Years age group.
Thank you to all who took part in the day, including Mr Geoff Andrews, President of the High
Rugby Committee, who was the Head BBQ chef for the day. Thank you also to the staff for
supporting High rugby and allowing this day to occur.
High Cricket Bulletin
Last Saturday we experienced the “agony and the ecstasy” in sport with the agony of the 2nd XI failing by just 3 runs from turning a first innings win into an outright victory due to stumps being drawn. The seconds showed a great deal of resolve and patience in this match against Newington which makes one wonder why it hasn’t been more frequent during the season from the team members. But, congratulations to the team on an overdue victory and to their coach Ani Rao.
Recently I saw an old classic John Wayne Western style movie on a re-run on TV titled “True Grit” the story of a crusty individual, rough around the edges, with principles and to use a phrase with a fire in his belly to overcome any situation. Today we would call it ‘gutsy” which describes the amazing outright victory of the 3rd XI coming from a devastating position of 5 wkts down for only 19 runs at the end of play on Day 1. chasing Shore’s total of 248 runs. From that position and in a gutsy, determined and free hitting performance the Thirds achieved an incredible win and we are ecstatic ! My congratulations to all concerned on one of the best wins I have experienced from a High team in the past 6 years.
An interesting sidelight to this performance is that I banned the team from using the cricket net last sport day and sent them to a centre wicket practice advising then to train in a match style mode (the nets are seen as a “cushy” way of not having to cart equipment, walk too far and an easy roll the arm over, belt any type of ball style exercise). They weren’t happy chappies and probably mad at me (which was obvious), but I just wonder if it was any of that anger, or was it the realization that I am experienced in dealing with cricketers that I just might have been right to make them use their talents in a “realistic” cricket arena and produce a performance like this.? We will never know the answer, but as been said many times we have the cricket talent at High, but it has been wasted quite often through poor preparation to matches. Particularly on sport days.
CRICKET DINNER and PRESENTATION of AWARDS – Friday 4th APRIL 2008 at 6-30pm
RETURN of CRICKET KITS and SCOREBOOKS
GROUP 1. (Two Day Fixtures)
1st XI NEWINGTON 10 /121 and 9 /126 (declared) - defeated - HIGH 10 /88 and 10 /122
16As HIGH - versus - NEWINGTON
15As NEWINGTON 10 /239 - defeated - HIGH 10 / 217
GROUP 2 (One Day Fixtures)
4th XI HIGH -defeated - NEWINGTON 3rd XI 10 /136
5th XI St.JOSEPH’S (6th XI) 3 /157 -defeated- HIGH 10 / 155
16Bs NEWINGTON 10 /170 - defeated - HIGH 10 /81
15Bs HIGH 3 /47 (70vers) - defeated - SHORE 10 /45
15Cs / 15Ds HIGH (15Ds) 10 /117 - defeated - HIGH (15Cs) 10 /116
14Bs and 14Cs
13As, 13Bs and 13Cs
The 2008 SBHS Cricket Dinner
SBHS Cricket will celebrate the efforts and achievements of our boys as well as acknowledge staff, coaches and supporters at the SBHS Cricket dinner on Friday April 4th 2008.
Players are asked to take responsibility on a team-by-team basis for any end-of-season gifts to their team’s coach.
The dinner will be held on Friday 4th April in the Great Hall at 6.30 pm
The cost of the dinner will be $25 per adult and $20 per student..
Please make your payment at the Main Office before 12noon 31st march 2008
Tickets are limited.
Boys are to wear school uniform at the dinner
Please detach the form below and hand it in with your payment at the Main Office
2008 CRICKET DINNER
Student Name ____________________________________________ Year/Roll class _____
Cricket Team __________________________________________________________________
TOTAL Number of adults ____________________ @ $25 per adult = $_________________
TOTAL Number of students __________________ @ $20 per student = $_______________
Do you have any special dietary requirements?
____ Vegetarian _____ Other Please state ____________________________________
____ YES! I can help on the day with setting up the hall, table decorations etc.
Helper’s name and contact details :_____________________________________________
Email address: _________________________________________________________________
Phone Numbers: _________________________________________________________________
Return to Index
The Onion Bag
SHS Football 2008
Year 7 Football
Coaches and managers
CHS Knockout v James Cook High (Lost 0-2)
The second half was a more open affair as the conditions began to take effect. The more open game suited the free running, skilful James Cook team and they began to dominate possession. A fortuitous first goal from a misdirected cross finally broke High’s resistance and a second shortly after put paid to High’s chances.
Whilst the result was disappointing there is still a lot to be learnt from the game. The speed and accuracy of James Cook’s play was above ours and is a standard that we should be aiming to emulate. On a positive note, the individual performances of Harrison Lane, Jeremy Ireland were very encouraging, along with the efforts of Anthony Tsiailis off the bench.
Quote of the Week
Basketball: Shooting Hoops
High VS Scots
Term 4 2007-(last time)
Term 1 2008-(This week)
15s and 13s on the Rise!
MR HAYMAN’S PLAYER OF THE WEEK: ANDREW YE (15As 26PTS!)
BASKETBALL DINNER APPROACHING!!
Donation to Raffle Prizes
Weekend Summary in High Gym
Senior house basketball is coming soon See Ms Ward for details
~Brought to you by Johny Shih
We are desperately seeking families who might be able to billet 1 or 2 boys for 3 nights in Week 9 (25-27 March 2008).
If you can help or would like more information please call Michael Kay (Science HT) on 0419 187
Robyn Meakin's Farewell
If you would like to join us in wishing Robyn Meakin a happy and healthy retirement
please come along to Sydney Boys High School on Sunday April 6 2008 at 1.00 pm.
Please make your payment at the main office or call the school
to make a payment by credit card
Please RSVP and pay by Tuesday April 1 2008
Phone 9361 6910
If you are unable to attend but would like to make a contribution to the gift for Robyn please
contact the office
High Store Price List
Autumn/Winter Price List - 2008
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 10:30am to 1:30pm Telephone 9331 7075
GOODS & SERVICES TAX ( G.S.T. )
G.S.T. is included on all prices listed.
Year 9 Parent Group Meeting
An Invitation to all Year 9 Parents
Wednesday 26th March at 6:30pm, Staff Common Room (near main office)
Looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday
School Student Transport Scheme (SSTS)
School Student Code of Conduct – Students travelling on buses must:-
Students are reminded to:-
During 2008, authorised officers will be deployed to inspect Code of Conduct compliance on
school bus services in the Eastern Region. Students who are found to have breached their
obligations may lose their travel entitlement and possibly incur an infringement.