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December 2011 - from the Principal

posted Apr 10, 2012, 5:48 PM by Eddie Woo
Ex-student success – truly a Rusian! Congratulations to Malini Raj F Fin (class of 1997 – First in Agriculture in 1996), who is the Members‟ Choice winner of the Most Outstanding Young Professional, awarded by the Financial Services Institute of Australasia. Malini is the Manager, Portfolio, Co-ordination and Analytics at Westpac and has had over 10 years experience in the financial services industry. She commenced her career in 2002 as an investment banking analyst with Salomon Smith Barney/Citigroup and has subsequently held corporate finance positions in Pacific Road Corporate Finance and Wilson HTM Investment Group where she was involved in various capital raisings, M&A and IPO transactions in excess of $400 million across a wide variety of industries including biotech, industrials, mining and resources, gaming, education and healthcare.

More recently, Malini has worked at Westpac where she has had a variety of roles. She was promoted within the retail bank to manager – portfolio co-ordination and analytics – operations and business efficiency in December 2010. In this capacity, she is responsible for ensuring that all material changes (strategic and tactical) that are to be implemented into the Westpac Retail Bank are identified, captured and analysed for business impact, prioritised and coordinated to ensure changes are implemented effectively with a focus on customer centricity.
Malini is the Chair of the NSW Young Finance Professionals of Finsia, a Member of Women in Finsia Committee, NSW/ACT Finsia Regional Councillor, has been a mentor on the Finsia mentoring program for six programs and involved as a supervisor for the Finsia FSP qualification. Malini was selected and has recently completed a five week secondment with Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation. Outside of work, she is involved in a voluntary capacity with the Starlight Children‟s Foundation and was part of the 2011 Stanford Who‟s Who.

Encore nominations. Congratulations to Edward Lo-Cao and Joshua Zheng who have been nominated for possible inclusion in ENCORE, a selection of performances and compositions from HSC music students, held in the Opera House in March 2012.

Scholar Summer School at Monash University. Congratulations to the following students who have been chosen for the Scholar Summer School in the sciences:
Biology: David Roshan and Victor Yang
Chemistry: Brian Gao, Bonita Gu, Marco Lee and Tahsin Ali
Physics: Brian Guo and Johnny Huang

Whitlam Institute "What Matters?" Writing Competition. Congratulations to the following students who were awarded a certificate for their contribution: Karina Shum, Kelly Wu, Helena Qian, Lisa-Marie Voon, Isabella Kwai, Na-Young Lee, Lindy Hua, Peggy Xie, Joanne Liu, Rhonda Ung, Charmaine Lo. There were 1800 entries across NSW on a range of topics including same-sex marriage, Aboriginal rights, fast food, consumerism, poverty and happiness, tolerance, refugees, Wikileaks and the information explosion. The winning essay was by Madeleine Boxall from St Catherine’s Waverley on same-sex marriage. The winner in the years 7/8 section was from Concord HS and in the years 9/10 section, from St Mary’s Cathedral College.

Regional Year 10 Debating team. Congratulations to Thanya Sritharan, who has been chosen to be a member of the regional debating team. She is looking forward to some training days and some competitions.

Student Leadership. Amelia Varua (11) and Annie Lu (11) attended a Women’s Leadership Conference at Parliament House on Tuesday. Chelsea Valentin (10) attended a three day Student Leadership Conference from Wednesday to Friday.

Minister’s Award for Excellence in Student Achievement.
 At the end of last term I attended this award ceremony where Roy Chowdhury was presented with his award by our new Director General, Dr Michele Bruniges.

Marie Bashir Peace Prize. On the last Wednesday of Term 3 I attended this award ceremony at Parliament House where Lindy Hua was presented with this award.

Language Perfect World Championships 2011.Congratulations to our 12 Gold winners (top 1%), our 4 Silver winners (top 5%), our 8 Bronze winners (top 10%) and our 6 credits (top 20%). There were 80,000 entries worldwide. As a school we came second in the group of 500 schools with less than 50 entries, earning 72,582 points and answering 157,311 questions. Congratulations to Kelly Wu who earned more than 26,000 points all by herself! Our students who participated spent 619 online hours learning languages: French, Japanese, Chinese, German, Italian, Latin, Russian, Spanish, Maori and Indonesian. Twelve countries and 1000 schools participated. Next year, let’s blitz this competition. Overall, Australia came first, followed by New Zealand and the UK. Australia earned 7,318,052. If all the students matched Kelly’s efforts, we would have an amazing score. Think of all that language learning!

Australian Junior Table Tennis Championships. Congratulations to Erny Tsao who has been selected to represent NSW in the U18 Boys Team to compete in the Australian Junior Table Tennis Championships in Sydney from Sunday the 25th of September to Saturday the 1st of October 2011. Erny was the 2010 Table Tennis National Champion in U15 Boys Team, and awarded the U15 Boys Best Player (National Tournament Order of Merit Number 1) in the 2010 National Junior Tournament. Therefore even though he is still 15 this year, he has been selected to the U18 Boys Team rather than his own age group.

Order of Australia Community Service Commendation. Congratulations to Sanji Fernando who has been awarded this commendation. The Order of Australia Association has this year awarded twenty-one 'Certificates of Commendation' for community service, the awardees being students in secondary schools in New South Wales. An inscribed medallion will be presented by Her Excellency the Governor, Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, at Government House on the 23rd November.

Strings/woodwind Blue Mountains tour. This was a first for the school and was very successful in the last week of term. I received the following email from the principal of Mt Victoria PS:
Yesterday we were visited by a strings, woodwind and brass group from your school. I just wanted to thank you for allowing them to visit us as they were just wonderful. Our students thoroughly enjoyed the musical items and the quality of their performances. Mr Wong looked great in school uniform. Your staff were so friendly and it was a pleasure to meet them. I hope your delightful students enjoyed their tour and we would welcome them back anytime.

Senior concert Band Tour. The primary schools, the special school and the nursing home where the band performed, all praised the performances of our students. Each band tour has a strong agricultural component and this time in Orange, the students particularly enjoyed their orchard tour.

Mr Wong’s performance. Quite a number of students, staff and parents attended Mr Wong‟s concert on Sunday at St Mary‟s Cathedral Chapter hall. Congratulations Mr Wong on an amazing event! 100 hours of rehearsal for a one hour concert – truly a model for our students.

Pole vault gold medal. Congratulations to Mudith Jayasekara, who won a Gold Medal for Pole Vault and became the NSW All Schools Champion for 15 Year Pole Vault at the All Schools Athletics Carnival over the weekend. In his 100m event he ran well in the heats and qualified first for the finals but came 5th in the finals. It was a very close finish among the first five runners. Mudith will be representing the NSW team for the Pole Vault at the National carnival on 3- 4 December which will be held in Brisbane.

2011 Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards. Congratulations to Yoshua Selvadurai (Yr 7) who was awarded a „Highly Commended‟ in the 2011 Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards. The Dorothea Mackellar poetry competition is one of Australia's largest and oldest school poetry competitions. Yoshua also came 4th in 800m at the recent NSW State Athletics Championships.

LAZSTA 2011 Space Academy and US Field Studies Tour. I have had wonderful reports about the participation of Jason Chen and Michelle Wang on this tour, which included the Advanced Space Academy Program at the US Space and Rocket Centre, Huntsville, Alabama. Participants spent the week at space camp training with a team that flew simulated Space Shuttle missions to the International Space Station, conducted experiments and successfully simulated extra-vehicular activities. Jason and Michelle are to be congratulated for their commitment to team activities, leadership training and assisting others in completing the Space Academy course as well as the events throughout the tour.

Australian Mathematical Olympiad Committee (AMOC). Congratulations to Victor Khou (11), Nancy Fu (11), Rachel Wong (10), Jonathan Zheng (10), Patrick So (9), Yang Song (8) who have been invited to be members of this year‟s AMOC Mathematics School of Excellence to be held in Melbourne from 5-14 December.

Informatics Olympiad. Congratulations to the following six students who have been invited to the December Informatics Olympiad Scholar School: Michael Su, Leo Huang, Kevin Shi, Joshua Lau, Ray Li and Daaron Chiu.

JENESYS Programme 2011. Congratulations to Sydney Tang and Clarence Ma, who have been selected to participate in the JENESYS programme to Japan from December 5th to 19th 2011. Sydney and Clarence have been chosen out of over 900 applications and will be great representatives of Australia as they make the most of this opportunity to visit Japan.

Year 7 2012 interviews. This week we interviewed the students who will be joining our school community. Thank you to Mrs Haslehust-Smith for her organisation, to Ms Connors, Ms St Louis, Ms Hameed and Ms Jenns for conducting the interviews with me, and to our Year 11 student interviewers. The Year 7 2012 students are keen to join us and are looking forward to all that we offer.

COJR AGM. Congratulations to Mrs Patricia Xu, on her election as our new COJR president. Ms Xu was previously the Treasurer. We welcome her to her new role. Congratulations to all our new executive. Thank you to Mr Trevor Allison who completed his term as President; Mr Allison was elected Vice President, also continuing to serve our community. Thank you to all the parents who are leaving the COJR executive as their offspring are doing their HSC this year. Your hard work and support has really been appreciated.

Draft three year plan. I presented a draft of our next three year plan at the COJR meeting on Tuesday for consultation. It will shortly be on the Intranet. If you have any comments, please email them to myself, Ms McMillan, Ms Connors and Ms St Louis. I expect it to be finalised in the next fortnight after the SRC has had a chance to provide some feedback. The reports of all faculties, committees and student groups will then be around our twelve targets, grouped under creativity, collaboration and communication.

Year 8 Debating Success. Congratulations to our Year 8 debating team, who reached the regional finals by defeating Baulkham Hills HS on Wednesday by debating the proposition that our tourism industry needs a new image. Good luck to Edwina Kuang, Brendan Ma, Stephanie Wu and Tharsini Uruthurakumar. Thank you to Ms Webb for her coaching, encouragement and management of the team.