School Newsletterâ€”Contact Volume 13 Edition 3 Term 3 September 2013 Term 3 is traditionally the busiest time of the year for Darwin High School and this year has been no exception. We celebrated our 50 years at Bullocky Point with a number of activities, including the Black Tie Ball, the whole-school birthday party and our community open day as well as the sealing of the time capsule. Our students have also been involved in school trips, musical, dance and drama performances, they have represented the School at both local and national events as well as hosted our senior citizens at the annual Seniorsâ€™ Week Morning Tea. This edition of Contact showcases just some of the activities in which our students have been involved.
Retirements This term, we have farewelled two highly experienced and long term Territory teachers, Marion Lejuene and Janine Watt. Marion Lejeune started teaching in the Territory 34 years ago. She has taught in both primary and secondary schools, teaching mainstream English and English as a Second Language. She has Members of the Darwin High School Stage Band Omja Das, Sarah Banks, Eric Beale, Joseph White and Kristina Lee worked extensively with students new to Australia in the Intensive English Units at Anula Primary School and at Darwin High School. After a short break, Marion intends to continue to support migrant families to help them with their English language skills. Janine Watt arrived in Darwin in December 1981 and has taught at a number of Terrritory schools. She started teaching as a Home Economics teacher but soon moved into the field of Career Development and VET in Schools. Janine is remembered as a teacher who was also passionate about education and always promoted the different pathways for students, not just university but Vocational Education and Training. Her knowledge in the area of careers is second to none. We wish them all the best and thank them for their service to our students and to the Territory. Kevin Northcote Editor
From the Principal
Year 12 News
You will receive Term 3 Reports along with this edition of Contact. These reports are formative or interim reports and as such, are meant to be indicative of your child’s progress this term. There is still ample time for improvement or consolidation. As always, if you have any queries, please contact the relevant Year Level Coordinator or subject teacher to arrange a meeting. It is vital that any problems are dealt with now to ensure the best possible outcomes are achieved.
It is hard to believe that we are at the end of Term 3. Our Year 12 students have essentially completed their courses and will now be preparing for their trial exams, final exams and final assessment tasks for the non-examinable subjects. Students need to ensure they recharge their batteries during the week’s break as many are starting to show signs that the long hours of study and completion of assessment tasks are taking their toll. Then we need to prepare for the final phase. We wish all our Year 12s all the best for the upcoming examinations.
Year 12 Exams
Trial Exams Week, 7—11 October: Students who have examinable subjects will have their trial exams during this week. Classes may run as tutorials. However, students will need to prioritise their time by studying for and attending the trial exams.
This is a demanding time for students in Year 12. The pressure at this time of year is intense for students, teachers and the parents who have sons/daughters in Year 12. In a few short weeks the Year 12 examinations commence and it is vital that we all provide as much care, support and understanding as we can to these students. Absences from School We have been very concerned about the amount of students who have been going on family holidays during term time. This severely impacts on the education of students. Teachers cannot be expected to organise work for these students. Although these holidays are recorded as a “notified absence”, it still reduces the School’s overall attendance and impacts on the amount of staff allocated. We will lose teachers if students continue to take family holidays during term time. Finally, my thanks to staff and School Council members for their work during Term 3. We all look forward to a busy and productive Term 4. Trevor Read Principal
Update Your Contact Details If you have moved, changed work, email or home telephone numbers, please contact the Front Office on 8999 1222. It is important that the School has up-to-date information in case of emergencies.
Year 12 Arrangements for Term 4
Normal Classes, 14—24 October: Classes for Year 12, both examinable and non-examinable subjects will continue as normal. The expectation is that all Year 12 students will attend classes for vital revision work for the examinable subjects, and the finishing of assessment tasks in the non-examinable subjects. Final Day & Final Assembly, Friday 25 October: This is the final day for Year 12 students. Following DHS tradition, students will be running the assembly as their farewell to Darwin High School. The Year 12 cohort will be dismissed from the School at approximately 10:00am and will be asked to go home and not return to the school for the rest of the day. Study Week, 28 October – 1 November: This is a study week for all students and also an opportunity for students to seek assistance from their teachers to prepare for the examinations. Final Exams, 4—20 November: Students will only be required to attend the school to sit their final exams where applicable. Year 12 Graduation & Year 12 Formal, Monday 25 November: The Year 12 Graduation Ceremony will be held at the Convention Centre and all are invited. The Year 12 Formal is open only to Year 12 Students. One ticket will be put aside for each student in the current cohort. Students will need to pay $110.00 at the Finance Office. Students will not be issued a ticket until they have paid and returned all of their library books, locker keys and laptops. Marty Isaksen and Michael Loftus Year 12 Assistant Principal and Coordinator
Year 11 Careers Report
Important Dates for Your Calendar
How quickly time flies! Once they were little kids in Transition with their daggy hats and now they are looking down the face of Year 12 and leaving school.
Year 10 Work Experience 21—25 October Phase 2 Subject Selection 21 October—4 November Year 12 Final Exams 4—20 November
Many students have had their Careers interview and I am impressed by how well researched and prepared the students are for the choices in Year 12 and beyond. Just remember that having a backup plan or two is a really good idea. If looking at the university pathway, the question to ask is “What is the alternative entry for this course?” If looking at an apprenticeship, I highly recommend taking advantage of the School’s Work Experience program and insurance policy in the last few weeks of this semester. Work experience provides a great way to not only be sure you are interested in a certain field of work, but also helps you to establish contacts and networks that lead to job opportunities. I worked at one school where 60% of students who did ongoing work experience got a job either directly or as a result of the contacts that their work experience provided. It also means when your child is competing for jobs, they can cite some experience in both their resume or their interview.
Year 11 Exams 21—29 November Year 10 Exams 4—5 December Year 12 Graduation and Formal 25 November Presentation Night 9 December Last Day of School—Thursday 12 December course – it is based purely on supply and demand and a high ATAR only means more people want to study there. If your child needs mathematics as a prerequisite for universities other than South Australia and the Northern Territory, please note that Mathematical Applications is not recognised as a prerequisite in Victoria, Qld or NSW. If they do not need Mathematics as a pre -requisite, the Mathematics course students undertake is not an issue. If your child needs a Science as a prerequisite, please note that Human Biology is not recognised as a prerequisite interstate. If the selected university course does not require science, and they enjoy Human Biology, then they should do it.
As a reminder, here are some answers to FAQs about subject choices and post school destinations: Three Stage 2 subjects at ‘C’ or better gets you an NTCET.
The ATAR is a rank. This means that the result is how well your child does against every other person doing Year 12 that year. If your child gets an ATAR of 60, it means they are in the top 40% of Australia for that year.
Four Stage 2 subjects at ‘C’ or better gets you both an NTCET and an ATAR (required for all universities and many TAFE Courses). If your child is considering university, make sure that you child selects Stage 2 subjects that are prerequisite for particular courses as they are not negotiable. Regardless of how well your child does in Year 12, if they don’t have the prerequisite subjects they will not be considered for that course.
There is no way to predict an ATAR because it is a rank and it absolutely depends on how your child does in relation to everyone else. In very loose terms: All A’s in Year 12 should get you in the 90s All B’s in Year 12 should be around the 80s A B/C combination could be from 60-70.
All universities determine their own entry requirements and differ significantly from institution to institution – both for the ATAR and from the subjects they require. It is best to undertake ‘course search’ in each of the relevant state/tertiary admission centres. The links are available on the DHS Careers Website: satac.edu.au (SA, NT), vtac.edu.au (Vic), uac.edu.au (NSW), qtac.edu.au (Qld), tisc.edu.au (WA).
When choosing subjects for Year 12, firstly make sure any pre-requisites are covered, then use some common sense, then choose what you love – we always do better in stuff we enjoy. Remember, there is always more than one way to get to where you want to go. Mathematics is crucial for many trades and critical and logical thinking skills
A higher ATAR does not necessarily mean a better
demonstrated in Mathematics are crucial for many jobs. Community Studies is the only SACE Board subject that does not contribute to an ATAR. ‘Bonus Points’ are attributed by the universities themselves and vary from course to course. The ATAR is fixed – regardless of what bonus points a particular course will grant your child. I am always available to speak to you and your child about their specific circumstances. VET NEWS What a fantastic term for our students! Our first certificate completers came through this term and we would like to congratulate De Weng for his hard work and dedication in obtaining his Certificate II in Hospitality. Mitzi Nalzaro, Jerah Mae Paynor and Glydel Nalzaro all completed their Certificate I in Food Processing. I went to their graduation and had an enormous array of cakes and breads to sample. Yum! Tre Manning Watson won the Territory’s highest award for VET in Schools at the Training Awards last week and we are so very, very proud of him. Well done Tre. Ms Cryer tells me that your dinner music was beautiful as well. What a huge honor it is to be named the Territory’s top VET in Schools student. Louise Austin came second in the World Skills Competition for Tourism and we could not feel more chuffed. Her lecturer sent the following: It was a challenging day for all the students, as they worked through eight preset tasks, including roleRoba, Sunita and Ashu doing Food Handling as part of their VET Course. plays, administration duties and an oral presentation they delivered on “cultural awareness” in front of an audience of six. All the tasks had to be completed independently whilst being assessed by four industry judges. The lead-up to the competition was fraught with nerves as well as much preparation. I’m so delighted Louise participated. It has been a tremendous learning experience for her (and for me) and a fantastic culmination to Louise’s Tourism studies. I hope Louise knows how proud I am of her – I did tell her yesterday – but would like Darwin High to be aware as well.
VET for 2014 is underway and students need to be aware that they must fill in an expression of interest form and return it to me as soon as possible. Jodie Matthews Careers Practitioner
Stacey Bridges (right) one of our Year 12 School Based Apprentices won Qantas Trainee of the Year in July this Year. Congratulations Stacey we are so proud of you.
NTCET Information Attendance and Special Provisions Attendance is crucial to student learning and achievement. Teachers plan their teaching, learning and assessment to take the entirety of the time allocated to the course. On occasion, unforeseen circumstances and incidents impact on a student’s capacity to attend and demonstrate their learning during the time allocated. Special provisions processes can be used to modify assessment in this circumstance to still allow demonstration of all learning requirements. However, special provisions are not applicable to absences of the student’s own choosing, including absences for family holidays. We encourage you to plan family holidays during the designated school holiday period due to their impact on student learning. Darwin High School’s Assessment Policy details our processes in assessment and special provisions and is available on our website under curriculum/ policies. Accessing Results Online Students can check their final results for their NTCET by logging into Students Online. It is a good idea to check your log in details for this now to ensure that you can access the site. Stu-
dents Online can be accessed via the SACE Board website at the address shown here https:// apps.sace.sa.edu.au/students-online/login.do. To access the site, students will need to use their SACE Registration Number. This is available on all Darwin High School reports. The default pin number is the first four digits of the student’s date of birth. For instance the pin number for someone born on 4 April is 0404. After logging on for the first time, students will be prompted to choose a new pin number. This pin number should be recorded for the future use as password resets are unlikely on the day of results release. Contact Details Students should also check their contact details on Students Online. A hard copy of results and the NTCET will be sent to the address recorded here. If this address is incorrect, please notify the school as soon as possible so that this can be changed. Exams All students have received their Trial Exam timetable. The timetable for the external SACE Board exams is available at the following address:http://www.sace.sa.edu.au/the-sace/students-families/exams. This page also contains other useful information on study and managing stress at exams. It is important to note that both trial and external exams start promptly at 8 am if they are in the morning and, at 12.30 pm if they are in the afternoon. Students are not permitted to enter the exam room more than half an hour after the start of an exam except in the event of extenuating circumstances that are beyond the student’s control. The School should be contacted in this event. Should a student be ill on the day of an exam, the School should also be contacted. In the event that the student cannot sit an exam due to illness, medical evidence, must be provided via the School, to the SACE Board. Dress Code A reminder that rules regarding dress code apply during examinations. Students are to ensure they are wearing covered foot wear and respectable clothing. Anne Donnelly NTCET Coordinator
Darwin High School Celebrates its 50th Anniversary During August, Darwin High School celebrated its 50th anniversary at the Bullocky Point site, with a number of events. Celebrations kicked off with a Deckchair Cinema screening of The Sapphires – which of course stars our very own former students, Miranda Tapsell and Shari Sebbens. It was wonderful to see so many members of the public get down to watch this great movie and support the 50th graduating Year 12 class. On Thursday 8 August, celebrations at the School began with an outside broadcast of Breakfast with Julia Christensen and ABC Radio, right at the front of the school. Julia spoke to some very well-known former students and staff as well as a family dynasty – three generations of the Wiltshire family. The broadcast finished off with Julia sitting in the famous “moke” with the owner - Judy Boland, and broadcasting from the front seat. Later that afternoon, the students celebrated with a huge birthday cake and a student DJ for entertainment. The community event held in the Tank and Amphitheatre followed. The general public came through the doors from 4 pm to view the photographic slideshow and historical exhibition, watch our talented dancers, singers and actors, have a guided tour of the School or just to have a drink and mingle. On Friday night, the organising committee thanked its supporters by way of an exclusive cocktail party at DHS’s Café AhToy. Guests partook in a splendid menu catered for by the Stage 2 Food and Hospitality class and listened to music from our very own Doug Loft whilst mingling and enjoying the picturesque views. The School also took this opportunity to unveil a plaque honoring the original architect, Don Hendry Fulton. Many people commented that listening to Mr Fulton speak was the highlight of their night. Continued on page 8
From page 5 Saturday night saw the culmination of events with the Black Tie Ball for 200 guests at SkyCity Darwin. At this premier event guests enjoyed a three course meal, drinks and live entertainment by way of a band, ballroom dancers and student musicians, whilst watching a fabulous sunset and reminiscing with friends, classmates and teachers. Guest speakers Hully Liveris, John Anictomatis, Jean Memery and Tor Burns regaled us with witty memories of the School and their time there. The 50th Anniversary celebrations were a resounding success and this is in no small part due to the enormous amount of support that the organising committee received from the community, parents, students and alumni of the School. Photos taken during the celebrations can be viewed at the 50th Anniversary link on our website.
Year 10 Alpine Excursion This year the Darwin High School ski trip went to Perisher for the first time. Upon our late arrival at Berridale, it was bitterly cold and there was evidence of a recent snow shower. We woke up early to news that, on the mountain, they had had a 60cm dump and more snow was predicted that day. And so, thankfully my fears of doing bushwalking rather than skiing were pushed aside. Our excitement grew as we picked up our ski and boarding gear and headed to Snowy Gums Chalet at Perisher where snow covered the cars in the car park and fell as we unpacked the bus. After a quick (but serious) chat about being prepared for the cold conditions, we were off. Those with experience hit the slopes, keen to make the most of the powder from the dump the night before. The beginners had their first lesson. After only a few runs I came across a group with Connor sitting in the snow cradling his arm. The students likened his fall to a superman crash landing and investigation showed a deformity in his collarbone. With the help of ski patrol and within an hour we were in the medical centre, x-ray in hand confirming a broken collarbone â€” a very disappointing end to skiing for Connor. I hoped it was not indication of things to come. The first session is always the hardest and strong winds and snow made things even more difficult. We came in cold, tired and sore but excited about the skiing ahead. Over the following days the weather got better and so did the skills of the students. By the end of the second full day a number of students were good enough to start exploring the resort. Perisher has three mountains to explore and a series of terrain parks to keep the boarders happy. Pretty soon the top boarders were out-carving, out-jumping and out-classing me. Oh to be young and fearless! By the end of the week everyone had developed enough skills to ski independently and, aside from Ms Emons doing her knee in, there were no other significant injuries. The trip was a huge success. We had great snow conditions considering the poor season and the Snowy Gums Chalet provided fantastic accommodation and food. The students were also fantastic, showing great maturity and independence. I was very proud of them all.
Congratulations to all the students who took part in the Alpine Excursion. A member of the public has contacted the School via email with some very positive feedback. Well done to all concerned. â€œ What a well-mannered group of children they were! We observed them treat all other private guests with respect and courtesy as well as treating the staff in the same manner. All too often these days people are quick to complain but do not compliment enough so I felt it necessary to send you this positive feedback.â€? 9
Minimising and Recording Absences With the conclusion of Term 3 Darwin High School students will be working towards final assessments and exams in Term 4. We know that student achievement improves when their attendance is consistent. There are several things that students and parents/guardians can do to ensure that student attendance is at least 90%. Remind your child of the importance of being on time. Students who are late for school miss out on important subject content or even excursions which are an integral part of their schooling. Encourage your child to speak to their teachers and year coordinators if they are having difficulties managing their time and meeting assignment deadlines. Students should seek help rather than miss classes to catch up. For parents/guardians who are planning holidays during Term 4, please keep in mind that, for many students, taking holidays during school Term dates can adversely affect a student’s studies and achievement. Please consider contacting the School to discuss strategies for your child to keep up with school work during their absence. If your child is absent for whatever reason, please notify the school Balinese Culture at Darwin High by:On 14 July the Indone emailing Dhs.email@example.com sian and the SIEU clas contacting us through www.darwinhigh.nt.edu.au, or ses had the privilege of phoning the Front Office on 8999 1222. having a Balinese guest Any medical certificates or parent notes should be handed in at the speaker, Mr Soma, who Front Office. provided a workshop in The notification of absences enables the School to acknowledge dance and kecak choral legitimate student absences and assists us in following up any abwork which uses the rhythm of our voices. sences without parent/guardian permission. If your child is sick and He also taught us how to draw a Balinese they have visited the doctor during this time, please ask your GP for Lotus along with other flowers. Mr Soma a medical certificate. Certificates are kept on students’ files and protaught us how to play a traditional Balivide evidence of absences if required. Parents/guardians who would nese instrument called the ‘rindik’. Each like a copy of their child’s attendance records please email student got a turn to play a simple rhythm firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 89991205. which is well known in Bali. The majestic Linda Sanders sound of the rindik allowed us to continue School Liaison Officer to study peacefully. All students thoroughly enjoyed Mr Soma’s way of sharing BaliMathematical History nese culture with us. Mr Soma was here In early Term 3, the Stage 1 Centre for Excellence Mathematics class for the Darwin Festival. and the Stage 2 Specialist Mathematics class attended a presentation Taylah Peters and Saurav Kundu on the history of mathematics conducted by Mr. Bill Shorter, a matheYear 10 matician. We began our historical journey with a simplistic introduction to the word “ Mathematics” which is derived from the Greek words “ma”, “thema” and “tics” meaning “relating to many ideas”. This presentation took us back to the earliest known development of mathematics during Sumerian times, where cuneiform writing was first established. Mr. Shorter spoke of mathematical systems founded by the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, leading up to the development of modern mathematics in 1900 and around the time of the industrial revolution. We learnt about the founding fathers of Mathematics, including Euclid, whose mathematical system we relate to, particularly in Specialist Mathematics. Using an interactive map, we learnt where the most prominent mathematical breakthroughs were established. Amongst the various topics explored, was the conception of the addition symbol +, which origi11
nated from the “t” in the Latin word “et” meaning “and”. In addition to this, the origins of the base 10 system, matrices, calculus and functions were also shown to the students in an interesting and avid presentation.
Defence Transition Mentor News
Helpline: The Defence Family Helpline operates 24-7 and is staffed by qualified social workers and psychologists. These are the people you call to reAll in all, the session was enjoyable and engaging, as well as being quest Absence from Home Support. highly informative. It was truly a pleasure to have Mr. Shorter as a guest speaker .The Stage 2 Specialist Mathematics students can now They will send out the Book and Bear Packs, make calls to you (if you wish) appreciate that the ‘B’ in Benoit B. Mandelbrot stands for Benoit B. and, if you would like to receive inforMandelbrot! mation on local activities, they will forJohn Kwon, Yazar Hlaing and Louise Jettner ward your details to the DCO Area Office. Medallions for Children Ceremony: A medallion presentation was held at Robertson Barracks on Father’s Day. Medallions are given to children of partners who are absent from home and in this case the focus was on Father’s Day. If for some reason you were unable to attend the ceremony but would like a medallion for your son/daughter please contact me for more information. Keeping In Touch (KIT) Absence from Home Support Newsletter The September/October edition is now available. The current edition provides information on Thursday Night Munchies and the Father’s Day Medallion Presentation. For copies contact the DTM.
Mathematics Competition Results The results of two of the three mathematics competitions have arrived and there are some excellent results. In the Australian Mathematics Competition a prize was awarded to Asim Razi with a percentile ranking of 99. Asim will receive his award and prize at a special ceremony later this year.
Regional Education Defence Liaison Officer (REDLO) Retirement: After many years supporting Defence families The following students were awarded a High Distinction: through the Defence School Transition Klitthapak Viravong and Laura Vincent in Year 11 Aide Program in the Northern Territory, Jackson Ranasinghe in Year 10. Michael Gubbins has retired. Michael There were many distinctions also awarded. built up a great reputation within the DeIn the Australian Informatics Competition Omja Das, Chetan Ganesh in fence Community Organisation for asYear 10 and Adam Johnston in Year 11 were awarded Distinctions. sisting families to integrate into the Territory education system. On behalf of The results for all participants will be published in the School’s Year Book for 2013. Students will receive their certificates from their Mathe- Darwin High School, we wish Michael matics teacher this term for both competitions. all the best for the future. Eileen Bell Mathematics Senior
Paul McConnell Defence Transition Mentor
All Over Town The Stage 2 Drama students presented a hilarious comedy called All Over Town. The story followed Lewis Franklin and the sticky situations he finds himself in after being mistaken for another while delivering shoes to the upper class Morris household. Rehearsing this play was difficult on the cheek muscles. We laughed…and laughed… and laughed our heads off, as we developed the characters’ stories and reworked the play. This group of students have worked together for over two years now and have a wonderful trust and strength as a team. They are incredibly supportive of one another and displayed great commitment to the rehearsal process and to learning brand new skills such as accents and tap dancing! Many of them are going on to audition for Performing Arts schools at tertiary level, so look out for them in the future! Katie Cawthorne Drama Teacher
To Market to Market We Go
Dry Times at Yirmikmik
This year, a number of Year 11 students ran their Small Business Enterprise projects from a Darwin High School stall at the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets. They sold cakes, gift cards and tea towels.
This year Stage 2 Outdoor Education students went to the Yirmikmik walks located near Motor Car Falls in the escarpment country of the Southern Hills of Kakadu—in conjunction with O’Loughlin College. The two groups set off doing the routes in reverse with the majority of the planned walk being off track.
The Business teacher, Mr Prakash, said “It was a good opportunity for the students to gain confidence in dealing with the general public. The logistics of transport, equipment and stock exposed the students to the reality of running a business in the real world.” Over the course of the market season, various faculties made use of the stall. The Darwin High 50th Anniversary committee headed by Ms Donnelly promoted their event. Ms Ruzsicska, Ms Tomassi and Ms Foster from the LOTE Faculty ran several fundraising events selling a variety of arts, crafts and jewelry. Mr Coulter caused quite a stir with a “3D Printer Roundup” display, and Tabitha Robinson’s student, Ebony Stewart, used the stall for a Drink Driving Awareness campaign in conjunction with the NT Police and NT Early Intervention Pilot Program (NTEIPP). Erica McCallum, General Manager of the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets Association, said “We are very pleased with the inclusion of Darwin High School in our market offerings. The professionalism, enthusiasm and hard work of the students and teachers has helped us achieve our goal of more local Darwin influence.” Next season, the aim is that Darwin High School can build on this positive start, and continue to develop an integral presence at our local market. Marcus Cherry Business, LOTE and IT Faculty Please get behind our stall and consider how it could be used to both our students’ and the School’s advantage next season. Be part of DHS’s great Mindil Beach Experience!
We started at Boulder Creek looking for a way up the cliffs of the escarpment. It was hot and the going was tough as we scrambled through the maze of rocks and scrub, zigzagging our way up a steep gully. Two hours in we were running low on water but a trickle was found coming out of the rocks. By the time we got to the top it was late afternoon and we didn’t have much time to enjoy the view. We needed to find water and a place to camp before dark. Tensions were running high as the creek bed we were following was showing no signs of water. However, just as the sun started to sink below the horizon, we came across a clear pool of water about 10 meters long, three meters wide and waist deep! Rehydrated and refreshed and with renewed enthusiasm, we discussed the next day around the campfire. Due to the lack of water in the creeks, it was better to head straight for the next major waterhole marked on the map. In morning before heading off we checked out a cave at the top of a nearby cliff, a likely location for rock art. No rock art was found in the cave but on the side of a giant boulder, hidden away from the world, we found some. It seemed an unlikely place but this just added to the mystery. Questions were asked “How long had it been there?” “What did it mean?” We could only guess and, for sure, we all had a greater appreciation for the cultural significance of Kakadu. Our navigation practice led to fantastic views from the top of a pinnacle jutting out from the top of the escarpment and, by lunch we had found a small creek with enough water to be able to bathe.
The next day we used our navigation skills to see if we could find a good campsite with a better waterhole. A difficult task. As none of the creeks had water, it was hard to tell the big creeks from the smaller ones. There were no distinct peaks or cliffs, just rocky outcrops that were not represented by the contour lines on the map. We followed dry creek beds and walked on compass bearings but the map never seemed to match the landscape around us. We were not lost, but just not sure! As no better campsite had been found, it was decided we would follow the creek we were on downstream, hoping it would widen along the way. As the afternoon wore on, things were not playing out as planned. The water in the creek had disappeared, we had found no flat ground and the river seemed to be going south, away from the car park. It was getting late so we headed to the top of a nearby ridge to get a better look at the landscape to decide what to do. We had to meet the other group back at the bus by 11am the next day. From the top of the ridge our location was still unclear but we did spy a large water hole and decided that it was best to head for that. When we arrived there was nowhere flat enough for the whole group to camp but the water hole was spectacular. We all wanted to stop and swim but we knew we needed to find a campsite before dark so on we went until suddenly, we came to a 30m drop off. We were at the edge of the escarpment. To our surprise, looking over the edge, below us was the other group camping next to the Motor Car Falls waterhole.
Japanese Language Speaking Competition Congratulations! “Representing Australia at the 18th Japanese speech competition was undoubtedly lifechanging, unlike any event I had ever experienced,” said Kenny Lee. Kenny was granted the Special Award at the 2012 National Japanese Speaking Competition in Sydney and represented Australia at the 18th International Competition in Japan. He was one of 16 students nominated from 14 countries such as America, France, Germany and China. He stayed two weeks in Japan with the other competitors and experienced excellent language and cultural programs. Kenny is the first Northern Territorian to represent Australia in this competition. Jami-Louise Fan and Andrew Harding will represent the Northern Territory in this years’ National Japanese Language Speaking Competition to be held in Melbourne in October. We wish them the best of luck and hope they will have a great experience. Mariko Ruzsicska
All in all it was a tough trip—challenging both physically and emotionally. Despite this, the team worked well together and showed great resilience and, I believe, learnt a lot about themselves and their capabilities. Emily Milikins came on the trip as part of her Duke of Edinburgh Award. In her reflection she wrote “I am very proud of myself to have completed such a challenging camp. I feel like I have grown a little as a person, having reached my limits and beyond, and for pushing myself miles from my comfort zone. I am more confident in my ability to handle challenges when I am exhausted, to push myself just that little bit further.” A big thanks goes out to the Ichthys Project who have supported the Outdoor Education Program this year donating $3000 for gear including the mozzie domes used on this trip. Aaron Dalgleish Teacher, Outdoor Education 15
She’s on Her Way I will never forget the lesson when Ayak walked into class, sat down and got out her books. Other students were straggling in, making their usual noise. A few minutes passed, and in her gentle way, she leaned forward on the desk. Her voice was quiet and I had to strain to hear her words. Softly, she revealed her news. Her eyes sparkled. And, when she could no longer contain herself, her whole face lit up. “Miss, I got an ‘A’ for my Human Biology assignment,” she said, ever so humbly. Those words are still resounding in my ears a month later and I often ponder about how emotional I still feel. It is not because Ayak got an ‘A’ that makes me so proud of her, but rather, it is the whole difficult and long process in which Ayak had made that ‘A’ possible. Ayak James Magok, arrived in Darwin in 2010. Her Sudanese family had fled to Kenya and Ayak had only ever known life in the Kakuma Refugee Camp. After a few months at Sanderson Middle School, Ayak came to Darwin High School. When she first arrived here, she had little English, limited reading and writing skills, gaps in school learning and absolutely no computer skills. She felt very nervous about being in a new and unfamiliar country and about what the future had in store. Every day was a challenge and the little things that we take for granted were enormous challenges for Ayak, for example, getting home if she missed the school bus, trying to find classes but without the language to ask the way and choosing something to wear that was culturally appropriate for her own family and which helped her to fit in with her peers. Even making new friends was difficult when she had not had the same life experiences to help her socially in the world of Australian teenagers. Ayak has and continues to receive acknowledgement for her leadership and learning achievements. She has received a number of subject awards along with the Savannah Holloway Award (an award given to students with a refugee background). She has been involved in the Bombing of Darwin, school fundraising activities, school leadership group, and an African dance group. Ayak has come an enormously long way in a very short time. Over the last two years, I have seen Ayak develop into a mature, self-motivated young woman who has the focus, confidence and determination required to take control of her own destiny. I will always remember those words - “Miss, I got an ‘A’ for my Human Biology assignment,” and with that, I will remember a very special student who has had an incredible life journey and, I am sure that there are more great things to come for this inspirational young woman. Robyn Northcote Teacher, English SIEU National Debating The Australian Secondary School Debating Championships was held in Canberra in August and Darwin High School was very well represented. Debating, like most sports in the Northern Territory, suffers from the “tyranny of distance” and the absence of high -level competition throughout the year. However, every July we have the invaluable opportunity, assisted by the NT Department of Education, to send our best debaters to the National Competition where they gain experience very quickly. In the following year’s Debating Season, debaters and coaches benefit from what the representatives have learned. However, the Nationals are not all about debating. Daniel Hamilton, the Captain of the NT Debating Team, reflects: “ … the finals were a great experience, despite the fact that we lost all seven of our debates. . (Most were against strong and experienced opponents, but everyone in our team put in the best effort they could. Overall we had some spectacular topics, some great competition and an unforgettable experience.” 16
Kenny Lee, Member, NT Debating Team, reflects on his second year of involvement: “When it came to the choice between taking the opportunity be involved in intellectually stimulating extracurricular activities, and perpetuating the schoolyard ‘debating-is-rubbish’ attitude, I realised it was always going to be those who chose the former who would therefore reap the most benefits from their time at high school— both entertaining and academic. This year proved particularly challenging in terms of intellectual commitment, facing us with topics such as “that electorates should be able to recall their MPs to face a byelection” … Yet beyond this, by far the most memorable part of my debating experience was being lucky enough to meet some of the top minds of the country, and listen to their political views in a friendly and casual manner. All of us made countless friends not just through debate but through the late-night visits to other states’ rooms, and the fun activities such as ice skating and trivia night that were also scheduled for us. Each of us left inspired with new ideas, new debating strategy and new ways of thinking about the world. Now resuming my mediocre schooling life, I can only reflect with gratitude on this wonderful opportunity provided by Darwin High School, and in the knowledge that taking up debating was definitely one of the best choices I’ve ever made.” And from Kaejenn Tchia, the third member of the NT Team from Darwin High School: “Throughout the week, we battled the wits of all other states and territories, debating topics from human rights in war to discussing community asylum for refugees and reforming the senate system within the Federal political system. I was astounded at the sheer performance of all debaters and found this experience very rewarding. Representing the NT this year has been an honour and I recommend any future debaters to absolutely give it a go.” United Nations Youth Association National Conference Darwin High School’s representation on the NT Delegation for the UNYA National Conference was very high this 17
year. Becci Smith, Lauren Northcote, Noella Deshan Cheliah and Courtney Buckley are to be congratulated on their selection. Becci Smith reports: “This conference highlighted human rights issues around the world, as well as giving students a chance to stand up, be heard and make a change. For me, the best part of this trip, and UN Youth in general, is that I got to talk to inspiring, like-minded teenagers. Not only did I meet over a hundred brilliant people, I also got to see myself in a new way, because everyone around understood the difficulties of standing up and being heard. I loved it, and recommend everyone to give the UN Youth Territory Conference a try next year, especially as it is being organised by a current Year 12 student.” And Courtney Buckley was equally enthusiastic – and grateful for the assistance she received to attend: “The 2013 United Nations Youth Conference was the most amazContinues on p18
World Challenge Update On 25 November, 13 Year 10 and 11 students are off to none other than Namibia and Botswana for a month. Students will be running the show; booking accommodation, buying food in the markets, organisng transport and planning daily activities. We will be trekking through bushman villages and the Okavango Delta, visiting Chobe National Park and completing a volunteer project in a needy community. As part of the preparation, the team managed the rubbish removal at the Royal Darwin Show raising $7000 and participated in a Litchfield training trip. Next are the visit to the Travel Doctor for a multitude of jabs. Next term they will be hard at work getting assessment tasks finished before packing their bags and checking them twice. We will be dreaming of elephants and giraffes roaming the savanna and the adventure of a lifetime ahead. Aaron Dalgleish Teacher, Outdoor Education
ing experience I have ever had. The motto of the conference was ‘Indivisible, Inalienable, Indiscriminate’ and we explored the theme of human rights through various interacting and engaging activities. These included several workshops discussing the definition and the value we put upon human rights, youth change project sessions where we would create a proposal to address an issue we are concerned about in Australia or the world, guest speaker sessions with well known figures on the panel including the CEO of Fairfax Media organisation as well as the previous Australian Greens leader, Bob Brown. We also visited a photojournalism exhibition, watched a documentary about the Israel-Pakistan war with Q&A afterwards and had an motivational breakfast where we personally met an amazing and highly successful person from our society. The people we met on this trip and whom we spent the week in the company of were amazing and the environment of the whole conference was full of respect for every individual, even when heated discussions occurred. I want to recognise the generosity of the NT Government for their sponsorship to help pay for the trip, as without their support, many of us may not have been able to attend. I strongly encourage you to seize the opportunity to attend next year's conference. For more information or to get involved contact UN Youth NT.” Susan Cameron Debating and Public Speaking Coordinator
Senior’s Week Morning Tea and Concert Thank you to all the musicians, dancers, caterers, student leaders, chaperones from SIEU and all students and teachers involved in Senior’s Week. It was a tremendous success.
Into the Wild At the end of May the Stage 1 Outdoor Education class headed into the wilds of Litchfield National Park. We left the tourist hotspots behind and, choosing the road less travelled, explored the water holes, stone country and savannah woodlands of the Table Top Track. There was excitement and anxiety on the first day as we left Buley Rock Hole behind heading for our bush camp 13km away. Most of the students had not hiked with a heavy pack before and few had navigated using a compass and map. They were well aware that it was up to them. I had told the team that I would help them to learn how to navigate but I would not do it for them. All went well with some good decisions being made by the leaders regarding time for rests and swimming stops and whether or not it was safe to push on in darkness when not all the group had functioning torches. All went well until, on the third day, I decided I’d have a chat to the leadership team and throw a few ideas around. “There is a possible shortcut,” I explained, “It’s off track with some difficult terrain, but definitely a shorter distance.” It was decided we would head off track. Over the next couple of hours the team learnt an important lesson in navigation – the shortest route is not always the easiest – sometimes it’s better to go the long way round. I was happy. There is nothing I love more than a challenging off-track walk. That’s where you find the biggest trees, the best waterholes and the most spectacular views—when you’re willing to work hard for it. This was no exception. First we plunged into a swampy monsoon rainforest. The paper barks were enormous and the shade was beautiful so long as you don’t mind wet feet and plenty of Christian Discussion Group spiders. The expletives from the back indicated I might have The Christian Discussion Group gives students been the only one enjoying myself. Then we headed off a rocky the opportunity to talk with others interested to spur giving us great views of the lowlands surrounding the Litchhear what is actually written in the Bible. The field plateau and finally, when we reached the bottom, a gorgeous, secluded waterfall and water hole awaited us. Unfortugroup is held in room B17 every Thursday nately I could not convince anyone it was a great time for a lunchtime. swim. The rest of the team just didn’t have the same appreciaRecently, through a sausage sizzle, the group tion for the shortcut as I did and just wanted to get to camp. successfully raised $148 towards the sponsorship of a young girl in India. It was great to see After two hours of tough walking we finally made it to our campsite. It was overgrown and I tried to convince the team we the enthusiasm of those who participated. could find a better one further on but they were hearing none of The Anglican Youth Minister, Rev. Bruce Chap- it. I think I may have lost a little of their trust after the so-called man also comes to many of the meetings and short cut! assists with the programme. We had a good final night in the bush and enjoyed a short walk Our school community has students from many back to the bus the next day. different backgrounds and faiths. This group provides a forum for discussion and opportuni- Despite the challenges I think most will tell you they enjoyed the ties for integration with others in the school trip. I know they all learnt something about working as a team community. Any questions can be directed via and facing and dealing with challenges. A big thanks goes out to email@example.com in person. Kimberly Buckley who assisted me. Rosie Reimers Aaron Dalgleish Convenor Teacher, Outdoor Education 19
Sports News Rugby 7’s The DHS team was Llani Panuve, Che-Louise Cockatoo-Hewitt, Theodora Moala, Samantha Rauraa, Karlene Cardona, Madison Glass-Jones, Megan Crauford, Tilly-Clare Bassham and Shannon Hunt. The girls started strongly with a 32-0 win over Palmerston Senior College, followed by a 17-3 win over Essington, a 17-17 draw with Casuarina Senior College and finally a 20-10 loss to Taminmin College. The girls showed exceptional determination and a will to succeed, even when they came up against their toughest competitors, Taminmin, in the Grand Final. DHS lost to Taminmin 17-5 in the Grand Final. Congratulations to Madison, Tilly and Shannon who were selected to represent the NT in Cairns later this year. Athletics Stand out performances at the Top End Cluster Athletics Carnival on 1 August, at the Arafura Stadium, came from Tilly Bassham with wins in high jump, long jump and triple jump, Joseph White with wins in 800m and 1500m runs and Todd Richardson win a win in the high jump.
Table Tennis Darwin High School Table Tennis teams came first and second in the recent NT City Cluster Table Tennis Competition. Team members were Denver Hodgson, Raymond Lee, Joshua Yick, Justin Ju, Hussnan Abbas, Jonathan Tong, Tom Ocampo and Alan Donald.
State Knock Out Athletics Darwin High School won both the boys and girls Intermediate Division of the NT Championships held on 28 August. Both teams have now qualified for the National Championships which are to be held in Townsville early December. The girls team – Shannon McSkimming, Lily Hinton, Sami Harper, Amy Chittick, Caitlin Chamberlain, Che- Louise Cockatoo and Rochelle Blake. The boys team – Ivan Glasby, Joseph White, Hamish Wiltshire, Todd Richardson, Connor Wright, Henry Tollner and Mitch Hardy. NT Championships Joseph White won the 800m and 1500m for his age division and Todd Richardson won the high jump. Georgia Hardy placed first in the City to Surf U20 Division and finished in the top 20 of women in the NT Half Marathon Championship. NT Badminton Junior Champion Congratulations to Tom Ocampo, Year 10, who won the title of NT Junior Badminton Champion. Tilly Bassham in the high jump