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Thursday 22 March 2018

The Tatler Newsletter | Thursday 22 March 2018

From the Principal, Mr Ian Gamack 
From the Head of Junior School
From the Head of Middle School
From the Head of Senior School 
News from Careers
JCU Open Night for for Cathedral's top scholars
Get involved with Duke of Edinburgh at Cathedral
News from Sport

Why parents choose The Cathedral School by Mr Ian Gamack - Principal 

With my recent trip to Hong Kong and last weekend’s scholarship exams, I have spoken to many first year and potential parents about our school and what it offers for our students. In my tenth year as Principal of The Cathedral School, it has been fascinating to see the ever evolving reasons why parents choose our school over others, and in the case of our International families not just other Townsville schools, but schools all over the English speaking world. 

The overwhelming response of new parents is that they want their child to be encouraged to take advantage of the huge range of opportunities available at our school. The fact that our school values each of our children and sees the building of relationships with and for that child is also critically important. They see the school as the vehicle by which their child will achieve their individual success by encouraging their enthusiasm, curiosity and participation. They also like to hear their children talk about their day or week and how they have been challenged both in and out of their classrooms. 

I expect that the past week has seen Junior School students coming home from their first encounter with the Wonder Hub, bursting with the excitement of their new learning space. What a wonderful opportunity for our young people and also our teachers, who are also hugely excited about the possibilities it offers to their students. I would highlight to parents the open invitation from our Head of Junior School, Mr Luke Baills and our Wonder Hub Coordinator, Renita Whebell, to visit this amazing new space with your child. I would suggest that you ask your child to show you around and ask them open ended questions about some of the current displays.

This Friday evening the Middle and Senior School students will present their Interhouse Musical competition in the Rock Centre. After 10 years of seeing this wonderful event I still remain in awe of the work done by our students in preparing and then performing for this event. While it will not impact on their OPs, it provides another key platform for our students to grow not only their creative skills, but also their collaboration and leadership skills. Again I encourage parents to attend this evening to see your children performing. They may say they don’t need you there, but you have my permission to ignore them.

These are only two recent examples of the exposure our students are getting to creative, wonder filled and student driven activities as part of their education at our school. We are confident that these and other events are a key part of their holistic learning experience at Cathedral. 

The breadth of activities and opportunities available to students of all ages will continue throughout the year and I strongly urge parents to continue to encourage their children to take advantage of what’s on offer.
Mr Ian Gamack 

News from Junior School

Upon our arrival back to school this year many of you may have noticed our new ‘Wonder Grass’ located in the Early Learning Centre, outside Year 1 and also in the Prep precinct. I have been asked by many of you what it is and where you can get it so I thought I would share some information.

‘Wonder Grass’ or its more technical name Zoysia, is the lawn for new renovations and play spaces you want to have fun in. This lawn has given the Early Learning Centre and Junior school playgrounds a wow factor and has had many of you asking how do we keep our lawn so beautiful so easily?  

‘Wonder Grass’ is the first lawn to go against the stigma, “all shade tolerant varieties must have broad leaves” – making ‘Wonder Grass’ the first fine leaf, shade tolerant variety on the market here in Townsville. It requires a minimum of three hours of direct sunlight per day, which betters even the strongest current buffalo varieties. This lawn is the highest winter performer with outstanding colour year-round.  Its thick thatch and soft leaf provides a tough surface for lots of little feet, muddy puddles and anything else a child can throw at it. Not to mention it survives on little water and in the shade.

Darren from Acacia Turf here in Townsville can be contacted on 0414 624 488 if you would like to lay some ‘Wonder Grass’ of your own at home.
Mr Luke Baills
Head of Junior School

News from Middle School

It was with sadness that we saw the passing of one of the great minds of our planet this week, Dr Stephen Hawking.  I don’t want to highlight the contributions that he made to science but in fact I want to highlight his advice to his children.  It wasn’t about science or mathematics it was far deeper. The three pearls of wisdom:

"One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is rare and don't throw it away."

Even the great scientist knew that to instil hope, purpose and love into his children was far more important than anything else.  As a parent and a teacher, I have reflected on these words this week.  Have I taken the time to talk to my children about their ambitions, goals and dreams? Do I contribute to ensure that they achieve them?  Do I turn up to work and make a difference to the lives of the people that are in my care? Have I ensured that my children understand what Love is and feels like so they know what they are looking for when  they find it? 

With Stephen Hawking in the public mind now, it gives us the opportunity to reflect on what is truly important. 
Mr Chris Anderson
Head of Middle School

From the Head of Senior School, Mr Simon Midson

Recently, I spoke with our Year 12 students in a Year Group meeting about the notion of Principles vs Popularity. All too often, many people, including some of our politicians, succumb to the desire to be liked while compromising their values. 

Most people have an innate desire to be liked. Loneliness, rejection and disengagement with friends can be a soul destroying experience for adolescents. It is no wonder that so many people will do whatever it takes to remain popular – even to the extent of going along with activities they may not normally think are appropriate.

Those who put principles before popularity are not common. Students of strong character simply need to ‘Do what is right!’ Students who put principles before popularity are those who are able to act with integrity even when the prevailing opinion does not support the stance they take.

This challenge of being true to our values and principles can often be seen within a school setting.

If a group of friends decide to engage in bullying, irresponsible behaviour, exclusion of others or bad mouthing peers, you as a student are given a moral challenge. Are you going to do anything about it? The person who is driven by principles over popularity will be driven to say something like: ‘Hey guys, Let’s not do it. We are better than this.’

However, many others will say nothing. They don’t want to risk rejection or exclusion from the group. This is why it takes courage to put principles before popularity. The student who challenges and opposes their peers when they are doing something wrong, may initially get harassed and rejected. However, in time to come, their actions will be recalled with respect and ultimately they will be viewed as a leader.

Our Year 12 students at The Cathedral School are a fine group of young men and women. They have a special responsibility as leaders of our school community to:

- Tell the truth
- Listen to and follow their conscience
- Be their own person
- Take responsibility for their actions
- Act consistently and in a way that is fair
- Keep their promises
- Model what they want done
- Respect the rights of others
- Have integrity
- Have an accurate view of what is right and what is wrong

I am pleased to report that the vast majority of our Year 12 students at The Cathedral School do what is right in every aspect of school life and it is their excellent role modelling that sets a positive tone for younger members of our school community who aspire to be leaders.

This Friday evening, House Musicals will be performed in the Rock Centre at 6.30pm. The House Musicals are a student-driven activity that many Year 7-12 students have been preparing for throughout Term 1. I congratulate all participants in advance of this special occasion for their keen willingness to be involved, cooperative behaviour with student leaders and staff, and perseverance in pursuit of excellence. Please join us on Friday evening to support all students involved in the 2018 House Musicals.
Mr Simon Midson
Head of Senior School

News from Careers 

The Defence Force as a Career Pathway

Over Year 11 and 12, all students are introduced to many possible career pathways, including the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Opportunities are available for students to partake in information nights, One-day experiences and one week blocks of Work Experience with the ADF.

Camryn Langley and Koreena Minniecon recently attended a FEMALES IN LEADERSHIP DAY at Defence Force Recruitment. The students enjoyed learning about career possibilities within the defence force and were involved in leadership activities designed to engage and develope the qualities of communication, leadership, planning and team work. Both girls came out with smiles on their faces and a greater understanding of this post school pathway. Well done on your involvement Camryn and Koreena.

I regularly send home emails on up and coming defence activities. Please also go to to source possible work experience placements. Scroll down to Placements, click onto it, and then find the QLD tab to see the full array of opportunities available to school students 15 years and over.
Mrs Katrina Wilshire
Careers Advisor 

JCU Open Night for for Cathedral's top scholars

Earlier this month, the top scholars of Cathedral were given the opportunity to attend an open night presentation at the prestigious James Cook University (JCU). These students included Alicia Kotzee, Christopher Butler and Isabel Kotzee. 

The presentation was held in the breathtaking new science building: The Science Place. From the moment that you walk through the doors, you feel absolutely taken aback with the modern interior, including JCU’s very own aquarium “pillar.”

Throughout the evening, we were informed on the variety of courses available at JCU. Some of these fields of study included: marine biology (as JCU is the top university in the world for marine biology), allied health, clinical sciences, engineering, geology and even paleontology. 

A passionate marine biologist spoke to us about the incomparable travel opportunities that she has been afforded to tropical islands, especially coming all the way from Britain. She showed us the heartbreaking effects of carbon emissions through coral bleaching. Furthermore, we were blown away by her video of the annual coral spawning, which she personally had the privilege of witnessing.  

A renowned geologist and paleontologist mesmerized us with a video that utilized laser technology to map out the caves in which Homo Naledi was discovered. This was a project that they were both fortunate enough to be a part of. We were taken aback by the fact that JCU has been involved in such a world-transforming discovery on humans and our origins. 

When the evening came to an end, we were all bursting with newfound inspiration from seeing such enthusiastic people. They had such a zest for life and were clearly doing what they loved most on a day-to-day basis. It motivated us to search for the fields that bring us our own zest for life in the same way. 

We were amongst some of the last students to leave, as we had so many questions for all of the JCU staff and students who facilitated, they practically had to lead us to the doors.

Overall, all the students who attended can agree that it was an invigorating night; one that we would repeat if the opportunity came again. JCU is such a generous organisation, allowing people to thrive in doing what they love. They were gracious enough to allow us to catch a glimpse of what could lie ahead of us, post-graduation. If our future lies in the hands of JCU, then we can be assured of a very bright one indeed. 
By Alicia Kotzee

Get involved with Duke of Edinburgh at Cathedral

In Terms 3 and 4 of last year, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in The Duke of Edinburgh program at Cathedral and achieve my Bronze Award. The Duke of Ed. program is all about developing life skills and stepping outside your comfort zone. It requires you to learn a skill, volunteer somewhere in your community, and do physical exercise for at least an hour every week as well as going on an adventurous journey.

At first I was apprehensive, but then realised I could relate the activities to something I loved doing. For my community service, I decided to volunteer at my horse riding school. This taught me confidence, as I had to control multiple horses and put up with irritated ones which didn't want to be ridden. I also became more confident with myself and my abilities, as I practiced everything more frequently. 

Possibly my favourite aspect of the Duke of Ed. program is the adventurous journey.  I went on camp for a week with a few friends and a majority of strangers. I had to be more social as I wasn't surrounded by friends. This gave me a chance to bond with more of my cohort, and encouraged me to spend time with people outside my immediate friendship group.

I enjoyed being a part of Duke of Ed as it was challenging and encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone. I met new people and made new friends. Looking back on it now, I have realised how beneficial the Duke of Edinburgh program was. It challenged me to push my comfort limits and made me a more well-rounded individual. It made me persevere even when I wanted to stop, as missing one week means you have to start again, or make it up the next week. I would encourage anyone who is thinking about participating to give it a go, and wish all the best to those who do. Anyone interested in getting involved can see Miss Brianna Hore in the Science Staff Room for more information.
Chloe Maher

News from Sport

Interschool Swimming

Junior School
On Wednesday 14 March selected students from 8 years to Year 5 competed in the ‘A’ Schools Swimming Carnival at The Long Tan Swimming Complex. The ‘A’ Schools Carnival has eight of the best swimming schools in Townsville with some schools more than twice our Prep to Year 6 enrolment. 

This event was the culmination of a number of weeks of hard training. Students who have attended training had been very committed and it showed in their results on the day. Everyone displayed a great deal of pride in their uniform and we should be very proud of their performance.  

Firstly, I would like to thank the swimmers and reserves who put in a huge effort at training and at the carnival. Secondly, I would like to thank the staff involved in training, Mr Johnson, Mrs Havenaar, Mrs McCullock, Mr McCosker, Mrs Fitzgerald, Mrs Finter and Mrs Will.

Finally, I would like to thank the many parents for their support during training and the carnival. The carnival was an enjoyable morning and it was great to see our swimmers competing with pride.
Mr Michael Porter
Physical Education Coordinator - Junior School

Middle and Senior School
On Wednesday 7 March selected students in the Middle and Senior School competed in the Townsville Secondary School Sport Swimming Carnival. Special congratulations to the four students on their effort in the 4 x 50 individual medley's - Callum Maher 4th, Aiden Wu 1st, Madeleine Prizeman 2nd and Sofia Brescianini 4th. Aiden Wu also convincingly won the 50m Freestyle and 50m Butterfly.

In the aggregate competition both boys and girls teams finished third and the boys won the population trophy whilst the girls finished second.

Age Group results:
12 Year Girls 6th; 12 Year Boys 3rd
13 Year Girls 1st; 13 Year Boys 3rd
14 Year Girls 2nd; 14 Year Boys 3rd
15 Year Girls 3rd; 15 Year Boys 2nd
16 Year Girls 2nd; 16 Year Boys 3rd
17+ Year Girls 2nd; 17+ Year Boys 3rd.

Other consistent performers in division one races and relays include Caleb Coope, Jack Egginton, Jonathan Cavallo, Josh Nalder, Cian Casey, Zac Steadman, Matthew Wiseman, Bradley Graham, Tomas Muguira, Aidan Law, Ava Calleja, Holly Thomson, Macie Brereton, Grace Hammond, Sarah Scobie, Savannah Wilshire, Simone Mills, Estel Mocelutu, Isobel Taylor, Rebekah Taylor, Matilda Gallagher and Madeleine Gamack.

Also special congratulations to the three winning relay teams:
13 Girls Medley - Brooke Davis, Grace Hammond, Macie Brereton and Vivian Daniels
16 Girls Medley - Ella Brereton, Madeleine Prizeman, Rebekah Taylor and Isobel Taylor
15 Boys Free - Aiden Wu, Zac Steadman, Gordon Appelcryn and Jonathan Barnes
Mr John Rauch
Head of Sport