High Notes, Vol 20 No 22, July 26 2019

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From the Principal

Welcome to Term 3

We welcome officially Argyris Giantsis as a permanent appointment into the LOTE faculty. Argyris is teaching Latin and Classical Greek. There were many jobs carried out during the holidays. Apart from offices, corridors and classrooms being painted, a major upgrade of power supply to Killip Wing was completed. Classrooms 506-7,603, 606-8 & 705 were upgraded with two whiteboards and a short throw projector. The facilities include touch/pen annotation and wireless screen sharing. Two new kilns were installed in Room 707 to support the ceramics program. A new floorcovering was installed in the IA practical room. Both libraries are being painted this week. A tree overhanging the COLA was removed because it was diseased and had become a WH&S hazard. It provided woodchips for a large area of the gardens. Metal slats were added in the south-eastern side of the COLA to protect the facility from leaves, debris and weather. I want to thank Jim Crampton, David Isaacs and John Prorellis for the huge amount of work they delivered during the school holidays.

High Talent

High students performed well in a number of areas during the school holidays. At the National U15 & Cadet Fencing Championships, Lachlan Ho placed second in the cadet foil. Yu Ming Lee placed third in the individual sabre event and won silver in the cadet teams’ event. Adrian Leong placed second in the cadet team sabre event. Boys from the Sydney Boys High Weightlifting Club competed at the U15 and Youth NSW Weightlifting Championships. Gold medals were won by Nelson Cheng (M61 U15) and Mihir Marathe (M89 Youth). Silver medals- James Liu (M67-Youth) and Shangwei Wang (M81-Youth). Lawrence D’Mello (M67-Youth) and Alan Jessup (M73-Youth) earned bronze medals. The students were commended by the NSW Weightlifting Association on ‘how professionally they represented themselves and the school’. At the 2019 Rubik’s World Championship, Edward Tran (7F) and Brian Nguyen (7F) who qualified to compete at the championships and acquitted themselves well. The championships for speed cubing attracted 900 competitors from 52 countries to Melbourne. Sydney High School Blue team won the All Schools Target Rifle Shooting Competition at Malabar. Congratulations to Frank Zhou, Andrew Lui, Jackie Wu, T Liu and Alex Tan.

GPS Target Rifle Shooting Competition

For the first three days of this week, our target rifle shooting teams competed at Hornsby rifle range. Our first team won the Rawson cup on Monday but were beaten into 3rd place by TAS by a single point in the NRA Shield won by Newington on Tuesday. Our second grade team had a close victory in the GPS shoot. The Buchanan Shield result usually decides the premiers. High won the shield and the first grade premiership with the last shot of the day.

NAIDOC Week Assembly

"Special guest, Uncle Vic Simms, staff and students, welcome to our assembly. The purpose of our assembly today is to utilise the occasion of NAIDOC week celebrations that occurred during the holidays, to raise awareness of the significance to white Australia of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC week gets its name from the group responsible for organising the celebration – the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee.  It has organised the week of events since 2005. The theme for this year’s NAIDOC week is Voice.  Treaty.  Truth.  Let’s work together.  (July 7 – 14).  These words were at the centre of the Uluru Statement From The Heart (2017).  ‘In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard’. The indigenous community has three major objectives – a constitutional change to enshrine a First Nations Voice in the Australian Constitution; the establishment of a Makarrata Commission to supervision a process of agreement making with the Australian Government; and a Makarrata Commission to oversee the process of truth telling about Australia’s history and colonisation.

"Aboriginal people in Australia have struggled for a long time to be recognised and to have their grievances heard respectfully. Previous protests against white invasion had taken the form of boycotting Australia Day. It was a strategy that was not cutting through, so a more active stance was taken, through organisations such as the Australian Aborigines Progressive Association (1924-27) and the Australian Aborigines League, formed in 1932 by William Cooper. The AAL wanted ‘a fair deal for the dark race’. They petitioned King George V in 1933 for indigenous Australians to be represented in the Australian Parliament. The AAL merged with the Aboriginal Advancement League in 1957. 

"January 26, 1938, marked 150 years of white occupation of aboriginal land. A Day of Mourning was held at the Australian Hall in Sydney.  As well as protesting against the seizure of their country, the participants passed a resolution in protest at the treatment of aboriginal people by white Australia. They demanded new laws for the education and care of aborigines and a new policy to raise their people to full citizenship status and equality with the community. Sadly, it took twenty-nine more years for the Aboriginal people to be counted in the national census and have legislation enacted nationally to address their welfare. The Day of Mourning was held on January 26 from 1938 to 1955. It was then moved to the first Sunday in July and recast as a day of celebration. The second Sunday in July was nominated as a day of remembrance for Aboriginal people and their heritage. In 1975 it was decided that the celebrations should continue for the entire week.

"Aboriginal people have had the right to vote in Federal elections since a 1962 Amendment to the Commonwealth Electoral Act, but enrolling and voting was not made compulsory. The main achievement of the 1967 referendum was to raise expectations among Aboriginal people regarding Aboriginal rights and welfare.

"In the current Parliament, the Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, is the first indigenous person to manage the policy settings affecting first nations’ peoples. He is working with his ALP counterpart Linda Burney with an aspiration to construct a bipartisan approach to indigenous issues. Let us hope that they are successful and some real progress can be made in the near future to address the significant issues that remain for indigenous people in health, education, housing and employment opportunity.

"At High, we have a policy to engage with indigenous culture through our Na Ngara art collection, our 15-year cultural exchange with Boggabilla Central School and our annual assemblies celebrating Sorry Day or NAIDOC Week. We cannot move ahead as a fair and just society until we have addressed the issues raised so often around voice, treaty and the need to tell the truth about our past. We have to shed our paternalistic approach and adopt a spirit of collaboration, to work together to address the wellbeing of indigenous citizens. "
Dr K A Jaggar

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