From the Principal
Detecting vaping on our campus
The increasing prevalence of vaping (e-cigarettes) amongst our young people has highlighted the need for a whole-school approach. Education on the dangers of vaping will continue to be covered in our public forums and through our formal curriculum and House Tutor program. Our parents have access to up-to-date information on vaping (see previous edition of Ma Nishma) and information on vaping will form part of the parent information evening, conducted annually by Paul Dillon, Director of Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia (DARTA). Additionally, sensors that can detect vaping, tobacco, THC, and other chemicals, will be installed on a trial basis in High School student bathrooms and toilets across the campus. The system will not use CCTV footage, but when vaping is detected, it will send an alert to staff who will have installed the App. Parents are encouraged to discuss these planned measures with their children, as part of our partnership to eliminate vaping from our student community.
Strengthening student voice and agency
The issue of consent, with a focus on building a culture of support and respect, was raised in our High School assembly on Tuesday, through a joint presentation from myself and Margaret Lowe. In the words of Australian singer/songwriter, Paul Kelly; From little things, big things grow. The question was posed: can the small ways in which we respond disrespectfully to each other early on in High School possibly lead to the bigger things that go wrong down the track? Could it be that the derogatory language that we sometimes use, often cloaked in humour, could accumulate and lead to a culture of disrespect? Our students were asked to reflect on what these ‘little’ things could look like – for example, making sexist, misogynistic or racist comments, belittling, putting down another person… giving someone a nasty nickname that sticks? Humiliating someone for their actions, at parties or inside school? Talking about people behind their backs… sharing too much on social media?
The key messages we are promoting in relation to consent are:
- The default position is no – consent can never be assumed.
- Consent comes in the form of an ‘enthusiastic’ yes; it is important stop, ask, wait and watch to ensure the intended message is truly being heard.
- Education is the starting point for understanding the issues around consent and then it is the responsibility of all of us to make good choices; to listen to others, to stand up rather than stand by and to accept “no” the first time
The next step will be to hear first-hand from our students, to listen to their views on what they see as the issues that have led to the recent, much-publicised consent issues. One of the six key elements of best-practice wellbeing is to create meaningful opportunities for student voice and engagement. We want to provide an opportunity for our students to share their views on what needs to be done to maintain an inclusive, caring and respectful school culture that calls out inappropriate behaviour. Accordingly, a series of student forums will shortly be launched, facilitated by our student leaders. Both Margaret Lowe and I will attend each forum.
Resident engagement and feedback on traffic management
As mentioned previously, as a condition of our building development consent, Randwick Council has required us to set up a Community Liaison Committee (CLC), with an independent Chair. I am pleased to announce that Professor Roberta Ryan, an experienced leader in this area, will chair the CLC. The committee will deal with resident concerns in relation to traffic and parking. In the interim, parents are encouraged to support our neighbours by driving and parking wisely and responsibly. We continue to receive a steady trickle of reports relating to double parking, children crossing the road between cars, parking all day in a restricted-time slot and using Market Street as a car line, rather than engage with our GWTF arrangements. This does not auger well for our first CLC meeting. We are committed to maintaining safe and respectful traffic flow arrangements.
Year K Pathways
Today was Year K Eilat’s first Pathways ceremony. This is always a very moving event for parents who have the opportunity to celebrate their child’s journey of Jewish learning. Thank you to Adam Carpenter, Hagit Bar-On, Sarit Spira, Martine Nabarro and Stacey Rosenfeld for their hard work in planning and running the event.
Happy Mother’s Day
Wishing all Emanuel Mums and special friends a very Happy Mother’s Day. I hope that you have a lovely weekend together. Thank you to the P&F for arranging the Mother’s Day gift stall. It is always a highlight for the students who love choosing their perfect gift for Mum.
Primary Northern Territory trip
On Sunday, 20 Year 6 students and their parents travelled to the Northern Territory for our first trip since the start of COVID-19. For the past three days, the students have been in Jilkminggan, spending quality time with the students at the School and are looking forward to searching for the jumping crocodiles on Adelaide River. We look forward to hearing about their journey in next week’s Ma Nishma.
I received a heartfelt letter from Kids Giving Back thanking a number of students who have undertaken volunteer work over the past few months, contributing to meet the needs of vulnerable people in our community. I acknowledge and commend the following students for their commitment to Tikkun Olam and for making a difference to the lives of others who are less fortunate:
Year K: Nava Luci Frankham
Year 1: Avital Levy, Abigail Romain, Alessia Rose Frankham, Lola Wine, Stevie Zurnamer
Year 2: Jacob Raiz
Year 3: Ruby Hersh
Year 4: Liam Frankham, Gem Roffe-Nassi, Idan Shalem, Joel Hersh
Year 6: Gemma Jacobson, Samara Strugar
Year 7: Jemma Drutman, Yael Joffe, Madison Narunsky
We had fantastic results at the AICES Football Championships on Wednesday. Mazal tov to all.
- Coby New, Year 10, was selected in the AICES 16 years boys football team that will go on to play at CIS.
- The 15 years girls CDSSA football team won the AICES Championships. Well done to Mischa Spielman, Year 10, Sienna Poswell, Year 9 and Gemma Odes, Year 7
- The 16 years boys CDSSA football team made semi-finals at AICES Championship. Congratulations to Ethan Hirst, Year 9 and Coby New, Year 10.
Quote of the week
“Every time you do a good deed you shine the light a little farther into the dark. And the thing is, when you’re gone that light is going to keep shining on, pushing the shadows back.”