We have our first Booker Prize winner! Aravind Adiga, who receives a cheque for $125000 for his first novel, The White Tiger, was a student in the class of 1992. This is only the third time that a debut novelist has won this prestigious literary award in 40 years of the competition. The chairman of the Booker judging panel said that the novel “tackles divisions between rich and poor, and the impossibility of the poor escaping their lot in India. (It does so) with tremendous humour .. and is extremely readable.”
Catriona Noble (nee Hinton), who has just been appointed as the first female managing director at McDonalds, is an ex-student. This puts her into a strong position to succeed Peter Bush, who has been Australia’s chief executive since 2005.
Some of you may have noticed that we have removed the history of James Ruse (1759 – 1837) from the school’s Internet. It contained a number of contestable parentage claims which were not supported by primary sources on the site. The issue had been raised with me by a number of the descendants of James Ruse. Janice Ruse Huntington (the great x7 grand daughter) has kindly donated three books to the library which are full of primary sources. The book is called My Mother Reread me Tenderley , the first line on his tombstone, which, it is believed, was carved by Ruse himself as his legacy to the historical record. You can of course see the whole of the words he left behind on the replica tombstone at the front of Barrengarry House.
Congratulations to the following students who received medals in the UNSW ICAS competition on Friday 21 November at the University of NSW:
Science: David Pham, Howard Ma, Bach Vu, David Zhao.
Writing: Linly Wang.
English: Deborah Song, Michael Ma, Isabella Kwai, Helen Tong, Shelley She.
Computer Skills: Amanda Peng, Sing-Young Chen.
Congratulations all the students who have been accepted for the Olympiad Scholar programs. Following their success in the National Qualifying Examinations held in September, these students have been invited to undertake further intensive training as Scholars at the ANU in Canberra during the summer vacation. Their selection was based on ranking across the nation. They will now undergo an accelerated program of learning with top University tutors and Australia’s medal-winning past Science Olympians.
Congratulations to the following students who have been invited to the Australian Mathematical Olympiad Committees’ scholar school , to be held at University of Melbourne 8 – 17 December 2008: Sampson Wong (10), Stacey Law (10), Shiva Subramanyam (11), Olivia Kim (10), Raveen De Silva (10) and Wallace Chow (10). They are six of twenty five students, Australia-wide, to receive an invitation.
Congratulations to these students on this remarkable achievement and great honour.
Congratulations to Manbir Miglani who has been selected from many students to join the top 50 applicants in the state at the Aspiring Business Leaders forum at the University of Sydney in early October.
During the holidays, on 8 October 2008, the NSW Association of Agriculture teachers gave our ex-Head Teacher, Agriculture Mr Lisle Brown, (now retired), the highest accolade in the Agriculture fraternity that can be given to someone. He was awarded the JA Sutherland Award at a ceremony held in Deniliquin. Mrs Gail Roberts was proud to read the citation of all Mr Brown’s achievements, which demonstrated excellence in Agricultural Education in NSW Secondary schools.
Congratulations to Victor Butnejski (Eco-concrete: a sustainable solution for non-safety critical projects), Sanji Fernando (Toxicity of household chemical solutions to soil worms) and Timothy Le (Temperature and viscosity of liquids) for being finalists in the STANSW Young Scientist 2008. They were presented with their certificates and cheques at USW Parramatta on 24 October. David Roshan and Kim Sun Woo received Certificates of Excellence.
We welcomed the past principal, Mr Michael Quinlan, back on Thursday for our combined Mothers’ Club and Community of James Ruse meeting. Connections, an association for ex-parents and ex-staff, was launched at this meeting. Mr Quinlan has agreed to be the first honorary president. The parents farewelled Mr Wearne, who is retiring at the end of this year. The Community had the biggest cake for him last meeting. On this occasion he was farewelled with speeches, a gift and applause.
Congratulations to Victor Chan, Daniel Vijakumar, Nathan Wong and Jeremy Luk, who have been shortlisted for the Malcolm Chaikin Foundations Scholarship. This is one of UNSW’s most prestigious awards for undergraduate students, with an annual allowance of $15000 for four years.
Congratulations to David Tian and Manbir Miglani who will be attending the National Youth Science Forum in Canberra in January. 288 students were chosen from nearly 2000 applicants, drawn from 1800 secondary schools across the country.
Congratulations to Bonnie Liu who has been selected to participate in the Forty First ANU/AAMT National Maths Summer School, which will be held at ANU in January 2009.
There have been a number of staffing changes this year. One of our Deputy principals, Mr Greg Wearne is retiring after 17 years at our school. He is being farewelled at a number of functions to thank him for his contribution – nearly 4 decades to the education of young people, and half of that time at this school.
We have a new Deputy Principal appointed, Ms Megan Connors, who takes up her role next year.
We farewell Ms Vicki Phillips in Languages. We will also fill this position by a merit selection process, as we need a French/Japanese teacher.
Mrs Pela O’Reilly has taken promotion as a Head Teacher Maths and is leaving us at the end of the year.
Mr Lou Biali in Science is retiring, after his year of leave.
Mr Richard Grant was appointed Head Teacher Agriculture during this year. We welcomed Mrs Karen Johnstone to our Agriculture staff this year. Next year we will welcome Ms Sofia Hamid, from Mt View HS.
We farewelled Ms Denise Lee and welcomed Mr Sung Yi as a teacher of Japanese.
I am looking forward to our 50th anniversary celebrations next year. Please keep the whole day of 4 April free in your calendar for our fete, and plan to have both lunch and dinner with us, as you catch up with your classmates from past years.
Have a peaceful holiday period. Merry Christmas! May the new year bring you lots of joy!
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