Volume 31 Issue 28 09 Sep 2022 13 Elul 5782

From the Acting Principal

Margaret Lowe – Acting Principal

Rest in peace

It is with great sadness that we have all heard the news of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing. She was an amazing leader in our living history and her death will be felt around the world. Over the coming days there will be many tributes and news articles about her life which I will read/hear with interest.

As is protocol, we have lowered our flags to half-mast. 

May Queen Elizabeth II rest in peace.


Last week I attended a discussion organised by the Jewish Board of Deputies with Emeritus Professor Suzanne Rutland and Professor Zehavit Gross who spoke about their research that has culminated in a recently published book, Special Religious Education in Australian and Its Value to Contemporary Society. I am keen to read the book. One revelation of the research that was particularly worrying was the incidence of religious bullying in government schools. This applies to students of a range of religions – Jewish students, Islamic students, Christian students, Hindu students etc. This is a societal issue that needs attention.

From this discussion, I took one phrase and spoke to our students in assembly about bullying. The phrase that inspired my talk was, “Religious bullying is the worst kind of bullying as it strikes at the core of a person”. I challenged our High School students to consider what the worst kind of bullying would be and why one kind of bullying might be considered the ‘worst’. I suggested anyone experiencing bullying would probably feel they were suffering from the worst kind of bullying regardless of the ‘type’. I also considered bystanders who are not able to speak up. How do they feel? I extended the range of bullying possibilities in society to powerful people, organisations or governments being able to do dreadful things because a bullied group is seen as ‘less’ and other members of society (bystanders) are disempowered.

Bullying hurts individuals. Bullying disempowers individuals, groups and eventually society. Bullying can lead to atrocities.

My message was strong. Bullying is a human behaviour, not just a behaviour that happens in schools. Some people might never be bullies. Others might bully even as adults. Bullying leaves a legacy, sometimes for one person who goes through life suffering from the torment, sometimes for a group and sometimes for society. We need to stand up, together, to ensure the safety of all people in our school, our community, our society.

Care of students from Pre-school to Year 12

Our primary goal is to ensure the best care of all students. It is essential that the School has access to current information and updates about your child so that teachers and specialist staff can continue to exercise duty of care, professional judgement and consider if reasonable adjustments are necessary. These include significant incidents, important new medical information, or changes to your child’s:

  • Medical conditions
  • Plans for managing a medical condition eg Diabetes management plan
  • Medications taken
  • Anaphylaxis plans even if the student manages their own epipens and related procedures
  • Asthma plans even if the student manages their own puffers, spacers and related procedures
  • Physical or mental health diagnoses
  • Mental Health concerns
  • Recent Mental Health scenarios including any hospitalisations, suicidal ideation or attempts, eating disorders etc
  • Support plans (eg NDIS)
  • External providers with whom the School can liaise
  • Parenting Orders or Court orders
  • Living arrangements including changes of address
  • Dietary requirements, allergies and sensitivities to food and drink.

This information will be stored electronically and will be used to assist staff working directly with your child. These records will be confidential and only accessed by those who are helping your child.

Parents are asked to provide this information on enrolment. However, for some students the information we have may now be out of date.

Parents away but children are at school

It is important that the School is aware when parents are away and children are being cared for by someone else.

If you are going away, please email hsabsence@emanuelschool.nsw.edu.au or psabsence@emanuelschool.nsw.edu.au to inform us of:

  1. The dates you are away
  2. The name of the person caring for your child/children
  3. The relationships of the person caring for your child/children (eg grandparent)
  4. The contact details for the child/children’s carer.

Again, the best care of the children is our goal.

Raising the flag 

Our School is now proudly flying the Torres Strait Islander flag along with the Australian, Aboriginal and Israeli flags.

On Thursday we welcomed Thomas Mayor, author of Finding the Heart of the Nation, signatory to the Uluru Statement from the Heart and tireless campaigner for the rights of all Indigenous peoples.

Thomas joined a group of staff and students from Primary and High School to share his journey, vision and experience of carrying the scared canvas of the Uluru Statement from the Heart around Australia to garner support for A Voice to Parliament. Thomas also did us the honour of raising our new Torres Strait Islander flag for the first time. The flag now stands proudly alongside our Israeli, Australian and Aboriginal flags.

Eytan Messiah and Gabi Wynhaussen, who together with Tany Milner and Adam Majsay developed the School’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), spoke about the process of developing the RAP and how it “helps us clarify our vision and map our journey towards reconciliation, and is our public, formal commitment to these values”.

We are truly grateful to Thomas for visiting our School on this momentous occasion. The Primary and High School libraries have copies of Thomas’s many books. You may want to check them out and learn more about this courageous man who has stood up for his people, his country and our collective future.

Once news of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing reached us, this flag, along with all others were lowered to half mast. 

A packed week 

This week saw a number of events run by staff and students.

Year 11 Music Showcase

On Tuesday night, our Year 11 Music students gave a wonderful public performance of the musical items that they have been preparing for their end of term assessment. The students displayed great confidence and bravery, showcasing their musical talents to an appreciative audience. The students backed it up on Thursday, when they travelled to the Burger Centre to perform again for the elderly clients of the centre. Thanks to Adam Majsay, Deputy Principal (Teaching & Learning) K-12, who, as the Year 11 Music class teacher prepared the students for these two performance, played piano for some of the students and accompanied them on their visit to the Burger Centre.

Year 11 Drama Showcase

Year 11 Drama Showcase

On Wednesday night Year 11 Drama students presented a fabulous array of group devised performances as well as monologues. The pieces ranged from funny to confronting – leaving audiences thinking about provocative ideas. A job well done. Thank you to Samantha Bauer, Head of Drama, for her encouragement and expertise and to Ofer Levy, parent photographer, for his wonderful photos.

Night of Dangerous Conversations

Last night, our student Social Action va’ad ran a highly successful Night of Dangerous Conversations. The Night of Dangerous Conversations is an annual event run by student leaders which we are glad to welcome back after a COVID hiatus. The event is planned and moderated by Year 12 student leaders and addresses a topic that they are passionate about. The topic this year was Let’s Talk About Sex … Education and addressed sexual education, consent, gender and sexuality in schools. Student moderators were joined by a panel of speakers, including Members of Parliament, educators, Emanuel alumni and current students. The confidence and maturity with which our student leaders led conversations around these topical areas was inspiring. Thank you to Adam Ezekiel, Director of Students 7-12 and Denise Goldmann, Outreach Co-ordinator and HSIE teacher, for supporting the students. 

Thank you!

Our Primary Teacher Aides

We marked Early Childhood Educators Day and Australian Teacher Aide Appreciation Week to thank our educators and aides for their commitment to our pre-schoolers and students.

Our Pre-school Teachers were treated to an array of gifts from the parents including chocolates and flowers. Our young people are the most vulnerable and their care is so important. I am very proud of our Kornmehl team and the work they do, hand in hand with parents, to ensure a great start in life for our future generations.

Our wonderful team of Teachers Aides had a morning tea last week as part of our celebrations of National Teacher Aide Appreciation Week. We are very grateful to our TAs for the work they do supporting students in the Primary classrooms. They love their jobs and exude encouragement!

Tikkun Olam

Kol hakavod to Noa Goodstone, Dan Kalinko, Olive Byrne, Mirabella Marshall, Talia Cromerwong, Lily Foltyn and Jacob Raiz for participating in community programs at Kids Giving Back during Term 2 and in the July school holidays. Together with over 500 young people they produced over 13,500 hot meals, soup, salads, fruit kebabs, breakfast boxes, snack packs, care packs and decorated tote bags, with empathetic, positive messages, which were distributed to 13 charities around Sydney. 

Gabrielle Morrissey Hansen, CEO of Kids Giving Back commended the students: “Volunteering in the July school holidays was especially valuable as we held a twice weekly soup kitchen, making and handing out almost 1000 servings of soup in the cold and rain, to those who needed warm food and support. Your student volunteers were also especially helpful in folding and packing new clothes for over 12,000 vulnerable people, many of whom were affected by this year’s floods. We deeply appreciate their service to others and the kindness they have extended”.

Mazal tov

  • Ben Rozen, Year 12, came 3rd overall, winning a bronze medal at the 2022 Sub Junior Classic National Powerlifting and Bench Press Championships with a 172.5 kg squat, 122.5 kg bench press (equaling his current State record) and 215kg deadlift! 
  • Eden Levit and Zac Urbach, Year 11 have both won gold in the 200m AND 100m at the AICES Athletics Championships at Sydney Olympic Park. 

Mazal tov to Ben, Eden and Zac. We are so proud of your achievements. 

Quote of the week

“To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it.”  ~ Martin Luther King