Volume 30 Issue 25 - 20 Aug 2021

From the Principal

Andrew Watt – Principal

Message from Her Excellency, the Honourable Margaret Beazley, AC QC

The Governor of NSW has provided a warm message, containing thanks and advice to the staff, students, and parents of all schools with NSW. 

Goldie in Year 1 has an important request. Look out for the article entitled Goldie’s Message in this week’s edition of Ma Nishma.

Are you getting enough sleep?

This was the question posed to our High School students who participated in our online assembly – at least to those who could rouse themselves out of bed! Have you noticed your young adult(s) struggling to concentrate, mentally drifting off, or displaying a shortened attention span or poor memory? These can be indicators of sleep deprivation. Other signs include moodiness, aggression, and a lack of enthusiasm for life.

Research indicates that only a small number of our students will be achieving the recommended nine hours sleep per night, with most struggling along with 5-7 hours until the weekend. A good night’s good sleep is important, but it can be hard to achieve regularly, when life is busy, and when we are on our screens all day in lockdown. Many young adults have trouble falling asleep before 10:30 pm – not because they don’t want to sleep, but because their hormones shift the body clock forward by two hours, making them sleepier two hours later, at 10:30 pm. Scientists don’t fully understand why we need so much sleep, but it’s believed it helps us restore ourselves physically, as well as organise things in our brain.

There is one area that both parents and children alike can control – and that is the use of screen-based devices, such as smart phones and other devices used around bedtime. The lure of stimulating entertainment such as television, the internet and computer gaming, can keep us out of bed. Part of the issue is due to light exposure, as light cues your brain to stay awake. In the evening, lights from televisions, mobile phones and computers can prevent adequate production of melatonin, the brain chemical responsible for sleep. Some practical ways we can improve our sleep patterns include:

  1. Choose a relaxing bedtime routine; for example, have a hot milky drink before bed, or use meditation or mindfulness activities.
  2. Avoid screens such as computers, TV or smart phones, loud music, homework, or any other activity that gets your mind racing for at least an hour before bedtime.
  3. Avoid stimulants in the evening like coffee, tea, soft drinks, and energy drinks.
  4. Keep your bedroom dark at night. Your brain’s sleep–wake cycle is largely set by light received through the eyes. 

We are reminded that even 30 minutes of extra sleep each night, before midnight, on a regular basis will make a big difference!

Kim Slender, School Psychologist

Kim Slender has resigned, to enjoy some much-deserved rest and pursue her personal interests. Whilst Kim will complete her part-time duties on the 29 September 2021, she has generously agreed to take on a significantly reduced load, to look after our Year 12 students, until the 19 November 2021.

After 18 years of loyal service, Kim’s departure will be a sad loss! In addition to her wonderful support of our students as a School Psychologist, Kim has also pioneered and supported our involvement in March For The Living and the PAWS.b Mindfulness programs. She has also been involved in our Chavayah and Jilkminggan trips.

I am sure that you will join me in wishing Kim all the very best for the future.

Online impromptu debating 

Last Wednesday, our Middles (Years 7 and 8) and Seniors (Years 9 and 10) debated against each other, in mixed teams. This was the first experience of impromptu debating for our Middles team. Our Opens team, along with Debating Co-ordinator, Yael Grunseit, adjudicated the debate. We have reached out to Reddam House, Rose Bay Secondary College, Moriah, and Masada, to invite them to engage in a ‘friendly’ inter-school debating competition. We have also received confirmation that the University of Sydney debate training day for our debaters will be held via Zoom in September and October.

Mazal tov

AICES Sports Colours Awards were awarded to Luca Calderon Havas, Maximillian Kidman and Jonah Trope – a fantastic achievement.

Quote of the day

“Isn’t everyone a part of everyone else?” – Budd Schulberg, American screenwriter, television producer, novelist and sports writer



From the Head of Jewish Life

Rabbi Daniel Siegel – Head of Jewish Life

Being our parents?

When discussing genetic engineering with our students, I asked for their thoughts about “designer children” and human “offspring” being brought into this world as clones of their parents. While recognising the determinative role of heredity, as disclosed by genetics, they agreed that no individual should be consciously designed by or be a reproduction of his/her parent(s).

This week’s parashah, Ki Tetsei, confronts us with these considerations long before science brought it to the forefront of debate within contemporary bioethics. Three passages, in Ki Tetsei, serve as an affront to the sensibilities of many and compel us to ask: “Are we our parents?”

The first text commands us: “No mamzer (a child born of an illicit union) shall enter the community of the Lord”. Today, in Israel, registries of mamzerim are being maintained lest one marry such an individual thereby ‘tainting’ the community.



Long ago, our Rabbis expressed bewilderment over a child categorised as being no more than (the misbegotten issue of) one’s parents:

“But I returned and observed all the oppressions that are done under the sun;
and behold the tears of the oppressed, and they have no comforter; but from the 
hand of their oppressors comes power, but they have no comforter” (Ecclesiastes)
“All the oppressions” this refers to what is being done to the mamzerim. “And behold 
the tears of the oppressed”, for their mothers transgressed, but it is these humiliated 
ones that are being marginalised. This one’s father had illicit sexual relations, but 
what did he (the child) do?! Why should it have consequence for him?! “They had 
no comforter” but “from the hand of the oppressor there comes power”- this refers to 
the Great Assembly of Israel which comes upon them with the power of the Torah 
and marginalises them in the name of “No mamzer shall enter the community of the 
Lord”. But, since “they have no comforter”, God says: “It is upon Me to comfort them”. 

Countermanding this biblical prescription, the Rabbis here present God as condemning a ruling body that would use “His” Law to aggravate rather than ameliorate the plight of the “mamzer”. By means of our evolving sensibility, our Jewish tradition here proscribes perceiving a child as solely an extension of parents and/or their actions rather than a being in his/her own right. 

The very next verse states “A Moavite shall not enter the community of the Lord”. Here too, the child is being marginalised as he/she is deemed to be no different that his/her parents who were not welcoming of the needy Israelites after they left Egypt. Remarkably, the biblical book of Ruth, tells us that this Moavite woman, reputed for her lovingkindness, not only entered the community of Israel (became a Jew) but was the great grandmother of King David and thus the progenitor of the Messiah, who comes from the House of David.

In this counter narrative, we are taught that we are not our parents, but we make our own way in this world, creating a life that may be radically different from our parents.

The final verse of our parashah commands us to “utterly destroy” Amalek for when our ancestors left Egypt they were attacked by this nation. Once again, our Jewish tradition argues against the contention “like father like son”. The Rabbis tell us that the descendants of Haman, an Amalakite, studied Torah with the Jewish Sages of Bnei Brak. Indeed, some contend that one of these Amalekites, who joined the Jews, was the convert Rabbi Akiva, considered one of the greatest Rabbis in our history.

Yet, this Rabbinic re-writing of our people’s sensibilities and of those whom we wish to categorise (thereby categorising ourselves) finds its impetus in this same parashah. “Children are not to be punished on account of their parents, but each is to be held accountable for his/her own actions”. 

Our Jewish tradition teaches that we are not to be cast in the mould of our parents, either by science or society.

The challenge is to be our best. No one else can.


Primary News

Natanya Milner – Head of Primary School

Colleen Elkins

This week we farewelled Colleen Elkins after over a decade of commitment to Emanuel School. It has been a privilege to work with Colleen and witness her success in numerous different roles. She has been a classroom teacher, an OC teacher, our Gifted and Talented Coordinator and our Chess Co-ordinator. Colleen’s passion for education and extension provisions as well as her care for the students, staff and our community have been so appreciated. I am also grateful to her for her contributions to the Primary School executive and to the Emanuel staff in general. We will miss Colleen and wish her all the very best for the future. 

Carrie Thomas

I am thrilled to announce that Carrie Thomas has been appointed into the position of Acting Deputy Head of Primary when Meghan Carroll heads off on maternity leave later this year. I would like to congratulate Carrie on the appointment and wish her all the best for what I know will be a wonderful year ahead. 

Science Week

Science is so exciting!

This week we have held many fabulous activities to celebrate Science Week. I hope the children enjoyed these activities and are feeling enthusiastic about all the exciting wonderings and opportunities in Science. I would like to thank Carrie Thomas for her hard work to organise and run the sessions.

Book Week

We are excited that next week is Book Week. You will notice some special Book Week additions dotted throughout the week. Look out on the Stile pages for some book readings from different staff members. There will also be library lessons offered on Thursday (which is the PTN day). In advance, I would like to thank our fabulous Teacher Librarian, Sam Rogut, for her efforts to create a special Book Week for us.

Parent Teacher Interviews

Our Semester 2, K-6 Parent Teacher Interviews will take place via Zoom on Thursday 26 August 2021 from 9.30 am – 7.30 pm. This semester, parents with children in Years K-2 will have the chance to book specialist teachers. Meeting times for class teachers is 10 minutes and meeting times for specialist teachers is five minutes. You should have received information about how to book your sessions. If you haven’t received this or if you have any questions, please contact Shelley Ezekiel

Reminder for Wednesday 15 September 2021

As communicated by Mr Watt, we need to change our plans slightly for the end of term. Unfortunately, one of the courses booked for staff has changed structure and requires different times than originally planned. Because of this, we have decided to close on Wednesday 15 September 2021 so that staff can attend this course. School was to conclude at 1.10 pm for Kol Nidrei, but will now be a day free of online learning for students. We hope that parents will be pleased to have the time to prepare for Yom Kippur with your children rather than managing remote learning for the morning.

Simple Strategies to Support Home Learning

Dr Kristy Goodwin is a cyber specialist who has worked closely with Emanuel School and our community over the years to advise on our cyber practices and policies and to present numerous parent evenings. Dr Goodwin has recently produced an excellent publication entitled, ‘Simple Strategies to Support Your Kids’ and Teens’ Remote Learning’. I encourage you to read the full article but some important takeaways include:

  • Work in ‘sprints’ and not ‘marathons’: Kristy outlines that young students cannot concentrate effectively for long periods online and that multiple breaks are necessary to maximise learning.
  • Disable digital distractions: turning off alerts and notifications can help maintain focus. It is also helpful to keep distractions (such as phones and gaming consoles) away during learning time. Even reducing the number of tabs/windows open can limit distractions.
  • Good breaks have 3 MAC elements: Movement, Autonomy and Connection. Supporting children to get exercise, make positive choices and stay in touch with family and friends are all helpful elements for success.
  • Good ergonomics and posture support the longevity of working comfortably. Considering everything from noise, lighting, seating and desk height can all help.
  • Consider screen limits and internet filtering. Dr Goodwin recommends strong parental controls over all internet connected devices at home. She also recommends minimising social media and screen use at night and avoiding using screen time as a reward or punishment tool.


Ma Koreh

Adam Carpenter – Head of Jewish Life Primary

Morah Jenny has been working with her students to learn about the meaning and significance of the shofar and its different calls. Students created their own artistic representations of the shofar and created videos of imitating the sounds we hear from the shofar. 

During the month of Elul it is customary to hear the shofar being blown each day. The daily schedule on Stile has a video recording of the shofar being blown by Theo Salek in Year 5.

The word ‘שופר – shofar’ comes from the verb ‘לשפר – leshaper’ which means ‘to improve’. 

The sound of the shofar is a wake up call for us think of actions we might do  ‘לשפר – leshaper’ to improve ourselves and our world. 

Year 4 has been exploring virtues or מדות midot that are part of Jewish tradition and wisdom. After selecting a particular virtue – students reflecting on this quality, studied a Jewish text relating to it and set themselves goals to bring this virtue to life. Here is a sample of the posters designed to teach and encourage others to consciously bring virtues into their lives.


Thank you

Colleen Elkins – Gifted and Talented Co-ordinator – K-6

I thought I would use my last Ma Nishma article to thank you, the Emanuel Community, for the time we had together.

I have had 10 ½ very special years at Emanuel School. The students I taught in my first year, when they were in Year 2 are now in Year 12! They still have the same personalities; they are just taller! I wish them all the best this year!

To all the students I have taught and worked with in any capacity: I learned from every one of you, and you were the sparkle in my day. You were the inspiration for me to think of that extra special way to present activities, to jump out of bed in the morning and to get to school so that I could share in your excitement about learning.

It is such a privilege to teach, and a teacher never forgets anyone (or what they did!) There remains within my heart a special place for each one of you, a special memory, a special wish. I thank you for sharing part of your journey with me and I wish you happiness and success in whichever area you choose to pursue.

To all our da Vinci, Future Problem Solving and Junior Ethics Groups, you were an inspiration. To the Chess students – what a journey we went on, with heart-stopping, nail-biting matches every Friday afternoon for three gruelling terms each time we qualified as the NSW champions and played inter-state; in Canberra, Perth and Melbourne! I am so proud of you and the utter dedication that you put forth! I wish you success in the future and will be keeping a close eye on you.

To the staff and teaching team – my colleagues who carry each other so beautifully. Thank you for the shared professionalism, the irreverent laughs, camaraderie, and support during many, many long hours of collaborative work on one project or another, during camps, during athletics carnivals in the rain, during Covid etc! Emanuel is lucky to have such committed teachers.

To the parents – thank you for the opportunity to share in the development of your most precious assets – your children. Thank you for your support offered in so many ways.

I am blessed to have spent this time with the Emanuel community. I know that the school will go from strength to strength due to the commitment of its members.

Go forward into your bright future.



Terry Aizen – Director of Kornmel


“Children thrive when they have the opportunity to learn by doing.”

Tinkerer: one who experiments with materials and ideas to fully understand their capacities, and who further iterates on their learning to find better solutions to current problems. 

Tinkering is about hands-on experiences, learning from failures, and unstructured time to explore and invent. Through the processes of exploration and invention lies the potential for innovation.

Tinkering is important because it can help children understand how things are made, enable children to have focussed and unstructured time to explore and test ideas, and it’s at the heart of invention.

A tinkering station can be an assortment of supplies that children use to build and design, or it could be something like an old, broken clock that you allow children to open and take apart. Whether children are putting something together or taking something apart, these experiences encourage curiosity and a love of learning.

Tinkering involves open-ended exploration with different materials. It develops the capacity for innovative problem-solving skills, as a group or individually, and stimulates creativity and critical thinking. 

Children who are encouraged from an early age to tinker and solve their own problems develop a different way of thinking about the world. They understand experimentation, testing and failing. It is in our nature to explore and create things. It’s important to find ways to foster children’s curiosity and imagination.

Benefits of tinkering

  • Tinkering can satisfy a child’s natural curiosity about life and how things work. Tinkering is, without a doubt, lots of fun.
  • Tinkering is not just a hands-on activity. It is a way to develop thoughts and ideas that can lead to the next step, whether that is a more detailed design drawing or a possible prototype of a future innovation. 
  • Tinkering develops grit and perseverance – children must be flexible and resourceful when instructions are not available or do not exactly match the problem that is being addressed. 
  • Tinkering offers a great opportunity for the development of fine motor skills, involving the co-ordination of small muscles in the fingers and hands. Strong fine motors skills are necessary for tasks, such as writing and cutting.
  • Tinkering builds confidence, activates children’s creativity, and gives them a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
  • Children thrive when they have the opportunity to learn by doing. Hands-on learning is powerful and allows children to make connections. 
  • Tinkering activities build peer relationships in children of all ages. When we invite children to visit the tinkering station, there will often be multiple children at a time working together. These builds sharing and collaboration skills and supports the idea of teamwork.
  • Through tinkering, children are learning how to use basic hand tools safely and correctly.
  • Tinkering not only encourages children to think out of the box but invites them to embrace their curiosities through exploring and experimenting
  • Tinkering encourages problem solving, whereby children plan, build and figure out how to assemble the parts to make a whole new original idea. 
  • Tinkering resembles co-operative learning and project-based learning, both of which are proven to have long-term positive effects.

At Kornmehl, we have observed daily during play how children love to make things out of unconventional materials and love to take things apart too. We value the benefits of allowing children time to explore, create, and discover. In response to this thirst to learn, we have set up two tinkering stations, one indoors and one outdoors. 

We realise the need to provide children with a variety of open-ended loose parts, tools, and a lot of free time to explore and experiment. The children are loving using tools and a variety of materials to make some wonderful creations. It has been so beautiful to observe the children’s confidence, creativity, thinking and participation around the tinkering spaces. We want to give the children the tools and agency to change their world and the opportunity to think with their hands. By providing the children with these opportunities now in the early years, we are preparing them to become innovators of the future.

Some wonderful discussion and conversations take place as the children tinker and create: 

Levy: I was tapping holes in, and I felt like building something. I used the pliers to make it a bit looser.
Uriel: I was making a TV and I used a lot of elastics, I didn’t count them, so I don’t know how many there are.
Arlo: I love making musical instruments that you can play different sounds on.
Evan: My dad has all these tools at home, and he does lots of work.

“All life is an experiment. The more you make the better.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Thomas Edison

You might find the following two articles of some interest:

What you need to know about tinkering, making and engineering
The Value of Tinkering

Happy Birthday

We wish a very happy birthday to Noa Lewis (5) and Jesse Borovik (5). We hope you both had a beautiful day.




Goldie’s message

Nothing is Impossible

Sonia Newell – Development Officer – Alumni & Community Relations

We hope you and your families are well as we continue to spend these challenging times in lockdown. Our teachers and support staff continue to be amazing, as are all our students and their families. We should all be so proud of each other! As we know, the rules change all the time – by checking this link, you can see the latest updates.

Challenging times of a different kind

The Tokyo Paralympic Games start next week and we are excited to see the many inspiring stories of these athletes for us to appreciate. Perhaps you have seen the promotional advertising on TV leading up to the Games, with the catchy theme song “Nothing is Impossible” written by past parent Ilan Kidron originally for The JCA Choice Foundation, and then more recently, taken on by Channel 7 for promoting the start of The Paralympic Games: Sydney Jewish swimmer Matthew Levy OAM will be representing Australia in Tokyo in a number of swimming events, in this his fifth Games, having first competed at Athens in 2004.

We wish Matt and all our Paralympians good luck for these Games and look forward to cheering them on from our lounge rooms in Sydney.

In conversation with Steve Solomon

Have you registered yet for our special event with Australia’s 400m Olympian, Steve Solomon?

Steve will be talking to our students, staff and the Emanuel community about his incredible journey to the Olympics.  

Date: 1 September 2021
Time: 2.15 pm – 3.15 pm
Link:  The Zoom link will be shared closer to the event
RSVP is essential 

If you would like to include a question for Steve, please enter this on the registration form.

Music continues to make the world go round

Listen to music from more of our talented musical alumni:

  • Jessica Loeb (Class of 2011) together with her fiancé Steven Kyriakidis, are better known in the music world as Jess and Steve Duo.
  • Aliza Waxman (Class of 2012) together with Miron Williams make up the band Brooklyn Bear. They were part of LIMMUD OZ 2021.
  • Chloe Ben-Mayor (Class of 2019), daughter of alumna Nadine Ben-Mayor (Class of /1990) has written and released her debut single “STILL”.

Remember September

Many of our readers joined us late last year for our online Gesher Speaker Series and will remember the interview with alumnus Ben Wilheim, founder of Remember September. A number of Emanuel families have lost loved ones from pancreatic cancer, and as we fast approach September, Ben would love us to join in this year’s event, to raise awareness and funds for research to find a cure for this dreaded cancer. A new challenge has been added this year, the walking challenge, which is the most popular so far – GIVE IT UP and MOVE IT. Ben says “this year, with nearly two weeks out from the challenge starting, we have more than 1,200 challengers and have raised $238,000.00 already.

See here for the latest figures and how to sign up.

Zoom Kabbalat Shabbat

Emanuel Kabbalat Shabbat

Don’t forget to join us for our Zoom Emanuel Kabbalat Shabbat at 4.00 pm each Friday, when you will see the smiling faces of so many members of our School, with students from Kornmehl through to High School, as they sing and dance at home in the lead-up to Shabbat, led by our dedicated Jewish Life staff and student leaders.  We encourage grandparents to also join us.

Mitch Burnie

Alumnus Mitch Burnie, Manager of the amazing Adamama Urban Farm was interviewed recently by Plus61JMedia re the farm’s search for a new temporary home.

Jewish Changemaker Awards 2021

Many of our current High School students and past students in the Jewish community are making the world a better place through their amazing volunteering efforts. If your children or grandchildren fit this brief, please nominate them to win. Through the Jewish Changemaker Awards, JNF Australia, B’nai B’rith NSW and The Australian Jewish News are honouring individuals in our community who have made a difference. Seven incredible young adults aged 14 to 36 from around Australia will be recognised for their outstanding contributions to Jewish Community, Australian Society and to Israel.

We would love to see more of our students recognised for their wonderful volunteering efforts, so please send through nominations.

Friendship Circle (FC) Walk 2021
Sunday 29 August 2021

The race is on but it’s important to stay safe! Please follow all directives from NSW Health as advice keeps changing. 

This event is FC’s main fundraiser of the year, supporting their programs and activities for children, teens and young adults with and without disabilities, as well as community initiatives. Members of our School community have supported this wonderful organisation and their events over the years, and it is hoped that we can do so again this year by signing up to join them on the walk. Given the current situation with lockdown, all participants are encouraged to create their own route and walk with FC wherever you are. This year, they will be having an Amazing Race with lots of different fun tasks to complete on the way, such as photo and video challenges, brain teasers, trivia questions and scavenger hunts.

Don’t forget, if you would like to support Friendship Bakery at Mark Moran Vaucluse, a social enterprise initiative of The Friendship Circle engaging young adults with disabilities in the local community through skills development and workplace experiences, please use their contactless ordering and pick-up.

If you have a special online activity, photos or news you would like to share with us, please send to: snewell@emanuelschool.nsw.edu.au

Shabbat Shalom. Stay safe, stay home and we hope are all have a good lockdown weekend. We look forward to sharing more news with you again next week.


Music Matters

Diana Springford – Head of Music

Music Online
Learn something fresh, new and odd during these crazy times!

Remember to check out our Ensembles and Choirs pages on Reshet (HS) and Stile (PS) for new ideas and little fun things to do on your instruments and with your voice. Every week on Wednesdays we update the pages and we leave the old pages open so you can revisit them whenever you like!

  • Clarinettists, can you flutter tongue yet?
  • Flutists, can you beatbox?
  • Percussionists, have you tried rhythmic modulation?
  • Saxophonists and bass clarinettists, can you slap tongue?
  • Lower brass players, how fast can you play?
  • Trumpeters, do you know how to clean your trumpet?
  • Guitarists, how many cool song introductions can you play on your acoustic?
  • Jazz musicians, learn how to improve your rhythm and sense of time with Chick Corea on the Jazz Ensemble page, or do a Big Band Rhythm Workout on the Stage Band page!
  • String Players, have you participated in a recording of Loki’s Green Theme?

Online Music Learning Opportunities in Lockdown!

Lockdown Loops Workshop with Luminescence Chamber Choir
Tuesday 24 August 2021, 4.30 pm – 5.30 pm 

Whether you are an instrumentalist or a vocalist, whether you have a loop pedal (lucky you) or just know how to cut and paste on Garage Band or Sound Trap, this workshop on accompanying yourself by layering up harmonies to support your own melodies and improvisations, could be a nice opportunity for you. It’s sure to get your creative ideas flowing!

One of the nice things about lockdown is the plethora of opportunities to engage with and learn from people in very different parts of the world. 

The Luminescence Chamber Choir is a Canberra based vocal ensemble run by Emanuel alumni AJ America. 

Follow this link to sign up to this creative and inspiring workshop on Tuesday of the coming week.

Private Music Tuition and Infant Strings Program

Thank you to those who have already advised us of changes to private tuition and ISP enrolments for next term. The deadline for new enrolments, notification of changes or intention to discontinue for Term 4, is Friday 27 August 2021. Otherwise, students currently receiving private tuition and members of the K-2 Infant Strings Program will be automatically re-enrolled into tutor schedules for Term 4 along with students commencing lessons for the first time. To enrol or discontinue please visit our Music Portal Page and complete the relevant online forms. Formal discontinuation notice must be received to avoid being committed to the full term of lessons and liable for fees. 

Please contact Matilda Grieve if you have any questions.  

A note about new enrolments into the K-2 Infant Strings Program: we are regrettably unable to add new enrolments into ISP during online learning. As soon as the situation changes, we will let you know.

A note about new enrolments into Private Music Tuition: new applications to enrol into private instrumental or voice tuition will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, giving priority to students who have the instrument at home and have pre-existing experience of learning with a tutor (e.g. in IP). However, we are open minded, so please ask.

The schedules for Term 4, 2021 will be created at the end of term and emailed by early October.

Keeping in touch

For announcements and further information, please check our Music Portal Page or follow us on Instagram for fun news and updates.



Denise Goldmann – HSIE Teacher and Outreach Coordinator

When I first watched the TV show The Handmaid’s Tale (based on a book of the same title published in 1985) some of the scenes on the screen were terrifying. When I learnt that author, Margaret Atwood, had based events from her book on real historical facts it became even more worrying.

Watching photographs and reading about the fast-paced changes in Afghanistan this past week is a reminder that women’s rights are not to be taken for granted. Scenes of deciding what can women wear, what books they can read and who they should marry are not only part of a dystopian universe. It is the reality that many young women may be facing under the new authority of the Taliban regime. 

In Society and Culture we study Afghanistan as a case study, as a great example where change is not necessarily always progress and in which change can be complex, affecting different groups and individuals in different ways. A common loser of these drastic changes tends to be women.

My hopes for the people of Afghanistan and the world are to remember that in the last 20 years Afghanistan built a nation that had regular democratic elections and an increasing number of women who attended university and were learning how to code and drive. All of these changes happened despite the geographic and political challenges Afghanistan faces as well as groups in society resisting women’s empowerment.

I hope these future possibilities can return for the women and people of Afghanistan. In the meantime, we can show support through this petition from Amnesty International to the Australian government to provide safe passage for people fleeing the Taliban.





K-12 Sport

Kristy Genc – Director of Sport K-12

AICES Sports Colours Awards

Congratulations to Luca Calderon Havas (tennis), Maximillian Kidman (rugby) and Jonah Trope (cricket) who have been awarded the AICES Sports Colours Award. To receive these awards, students have to be selected in an Opens Division AICES representative team. 

Primary Sport 

Years K-6 students have been taking part in the Dance Days Program and, next week, guest dance instructors from Brent Street will be running Zoom sessions for students during gross motor and sport classes. 

In Week 8, students will commence ‘Skiptember’. In preparation for this program, students will require a suitable skipping rope. Last week, parents received an email containing the ordering details for those that do not have a rope at home, and skipping rope pick-ups will occur next week. If you need to order a rope and did not complete the form, please contact the Sports Administrator, Erin Archer. 

High School Sport – ‘Steptember’

High School students have been invited to take part in ‘Steptember’.

This initiative aims to increase the number of steps that students complete each and every day and improve overall physical activity. Students will be involved in an individual and team step challenge, and I encourage all students to get involved.

Students have received the registration details via email and registration will close on 26 August 2021.

On your marks


Claire Pech – Careers Advisor

At the moment, universities, just like the rest of us, are facing unusual times. I am keeping up to date with any changes that are on the university and tertiary landscape and my one piece of advice to all of Year 12 – as I have said often, is to make sure students have applied for early offers if they are eligible for their chosen courses. Each university will have changing deadlines, so students need to make sure they are tracking these processes and taking responsibility for their own applications. Here is the full list and it is updated constantly with new date changes.

This is also another great time to remind Year 11s that they will most certainly be able to use their exam results coming up next year for this process. UTS already announced this week, that their early entry process will be in place next year and the current Year 11s will be able to use their results as access points.

With trials currently on for Year 12s, coming out of Week 7 will be a good time to finalise a UTS Early Offer Application, ticking off the SRS boxes in UAC, along with any other programs of interest and/or completing an Educational Access Scheme Application. It is worth noting, when I check my stats for last year, that over half of the Year Group had an early tertiary offer before the main round of offers came out in December. Often these offers are not a student’s first preference, but they are great for some reassurances in a time with a lot of uncertainty and instability.

UTS confirmed this week that they will look at the student’s Year 11 grades (they do their own calculations to create a Year 11 university selection rank) and will convert this to a full offer once the student achieves an ATAR of 69 (70 for Education).

UTS Early Entry Dates


University of Sydney | Discovering Advanced Computing

Wednesday 1 September 2021, 4.00 pm – 4.30 pm webinar

This webinar will cover the Bachelor of Advanced Computing, the career outcomes and professional accreditation.

University of Sydney | Experience in Engineering

Wednesday 1 September 2021, 4.45 pm – 5.15 pm

Learn about industry engagement at the Faculty of Engineering, the professional engagement program and scholarships. 

UAC Digital | Let’s Chat – Alternative pathways to university

Tuesday 7 September 2021, 6.00 pm

Pathway courses are for applicants who don’t meet the minimum requirements for entry into a bachelor’s degree. Learn about certificate, diploma and preparation courses. 

Jobs for Year 12 

Paramount Recruitment in Double Bay is offering positions in the Real Estate industry. For more information please contact them here.

Careers for people on the Autism Spectrum – register for a free upcoming webinar for Thursday 2 September 2021 to learn about career planning. This is a webinar for both people with ASD, their parents, families and support givers.

Kol Ha’Ivrit

Kol Ha-Ivrit Competition – תחרות ׳קול העברית׳

We are excited to announce that we are hosting our first competition! On our קול העברית website, we have put famous movie quotes in עברית. 

זאת התחרות הראשונה של ׳קול העברית׳

באתר שלנו יש מובאות בעברית מסרטים מפורסמים. אתם צריכים למצוא את המשפטים באנגלית ואת שם הסרט באנגלית ובעברית

Your task is to translate them correctly back into English and identify which movie they are from. The name of the movie needs to be written in both Hebrew and English to get full points.

House points will be awarded to the successful participants!

You can access this competition פה.

We’re excited to see all your guesses!

צוות קול העברית – כיתה ט׳ 





Community Notices





Ruby Berkovic and Jennifer Opit

Hello Everyone,

We hope you are well and have had a good week.

Father’s Day

On Friday 27 August 2021 we were meant to be celebrating Father’s Day on campus, together with our usual Cocoa Pops and coffee cart. As that isn’t possible, we have come up with a way to still celebrate “together.” An email will be sent out soon with the details.

Mindfulness for Tough Times 

You can still register and sign up for the last two Mini-Mindfulness Sessions on Zoom (at no cost) brought to you by Emanuel parent Jodie Gien, from Mindful Future Project.

The sessions started in week one of this term and have been running on Wednesday mornings from 8.30 am – 8.50 am (running from week 1 – week 8). If you have registered for a session, you will be able to access it for one week afterwards (if you cannot log on for the live Zoom). You can connect via laptop or mobile from anywhere and you can join anytime.

To register: express interest by emailing Ruby Berkovic and you will be sent the Zoom links in advance.

The remaining session topics

Week 7: Self-Compassion and Empathy in Difficult Times
Week 8: Happiness and Gratitude in a Pandemic

We would like to thank Jodie for providing our community with this fantastic opportunity.

Weekend Brain Teaser (from last week) and answer

Question: What can you hold without ever touching or using your hands?
Answer: Your breath

Or, as Mr Watt cleverly suggested, a meeting.

We hope you have a nice weekend,

Jen and Ruby




Recipe of the Week

Each week we’ll bring you a tasty recipe passed down by Emanuel families, from the Emanuel School Community Cookbook, The Family Meal. 

From the Kitchen of Jenny Udovich 

Seed Brittle    


3/4 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup maple syrup/honey/rice malt syrup (least sweet)
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted


Preheat oven to 180oC.
Mix all ingredients together.
Line baking tray (30cm x 40cm) with non-stick paper.
Press mixture flat onto tray with back of spoon. The flatter the better.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or a bit longer at a lower temperature after. Just watch it doesn’t burn.
Either score when warm and break after or break into pieces when cooled.

You can order the Emanuel School Community Cookbook, The Family Meal, by contacting Ruby Berkovic