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September 2007 - from the Principal

posted Apr 10, 2012, 4:51 PM by Eddie Woo
My second term at James Ruse has been as exciting as the first one. Everyday we acknowledge outstanding achievements – academic, creative, competitive, collaborative, sporting, music, drama, debating – especially fun!
The last round of University of Sydney Scholarships was announced this term. Thirteen of our students received a scholarship in this round: Dominic Balassuriya; Jeffrey Ha; Jason  Ting; Stephanie Wang; Keegan Lee; Louise Lim; Tammy Liu; Tanya Rajkumar; Dylan Zhu; Michelle Law; Stanley Lee; Andrew Tan; Graham White. Congratulations!
One of our English teachers, Ms Mary Billing recently participated in  the Writers Talk events conducted by our Department in collaboration with the Sydney Writers’ Festival. Ms Billing interviewed Ms JC Burke as part of this initiative. The material produced will be used to encourage students’ reading, support their understanding of writing processes and instil an appreciation of literature.
Eighteen students from the Konosu district in Japan visited us  for 3 days. They were in Australia for only 4 nights!  In the mornings they had English lessons with our ESL teacher, Ms Denise Lee. In the afternoons the Japanese students went to normal lessons with their buddy students.  On their last day they entertained us with a  concert  before departing.
Congratulations to the four students who received scholar awards in Chemistry, which put them in the top 20 in Australia: Prajith Jeyaprakash; Yufeng Xi; Alex Stoyanov; and, David Pham.
The written program at the Prefect Induction ceremony  highlighted the wonderful skills and experiences of our new prefects. Jonathan Choy (2003 captain) gave the occasional address and urged our students to practise their teaming skills and to strive for excellence. Proud parents pinned the prefect badges onto their sons and daughters, who then signed the original prefect book, which contains the signatures and photos of all the school’s prefects since their inception in 1958. Jian, Aolai and Karen officially handed over to Jean, Joshua and Daniel. Parents and prefects enjoyed lunch in Barrengarry House after the formal proceedings
Congratulations to Dorothy Wei for achieving a Silver Medal at the Biology Olympiad in Vancouver.  Irene Lo was awarded a Bronze medal at the Maths Olympiad in Hanoi and Sen Lin achieved a Highly Commended.  Irene was interviewed on 7.02 from Hanoi.
A group 14 Year 10 students from an arid area of Israel near the Dead Sea visited the school . They toured the farm and gave a presentation on Israeli agriculture to our Year 10 Ag students.
Ruby Kwong attended the Australian Science Innovations Asian Science Camp in Taiwan from 5 to 11 August. She met with Nobel Laureates and distinguished scientists.
Julia Kang and James Sin were the school’s representatives for the UNICEF Australia J-RAP Forum – a Junior Roundtable  on Asia Pacific – a youth discussion on APEC issues on Monday 3 September at the NSW Parliament House. The forum  focused on firstly, Trade and secondly, on Energy, climate change and clean development.
The Stream Watch group has recommenced their regular sampling and collecting results from areas of the school farm. The results are then sent to Sydney Water Stream Watch. Myly Truong from Sydney Water Stream Watch presented the school with new equipment.
Congratulations to the following recipients of Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC) Medals: Bonnie Chang and Vaishnavi Ganapathy in the Junior Division, Devarajan Nirthanakumaran and Jeremy Tan in the Intermediate Division and Justin Chau and Xin Liang in the Senior Division. Vaishnavi Ganapathy has also been awarded a BN Neumann Certificate for attaining a perfect score! A fantastic achievement! They will be off to Brisbane to receive their medals.
Norman Ma has an exciting time ahead of him. He has been chosen with three other students to participate in the inaugural Geography’s  Big Week Out. This event is to be held in Noosa, Queensland, from 10 to 14 December 2002 and will be five days of hands-on geographical activities. Norman won his place because of his outstanding performance in the senior division of the National Geographic Channel Australian Geography Competition. Approximately 86000 students entered the competition this year. In 2005 Norman topped the state in the intermediate age division and represented NSW in the final for students under 16. Coming first there gained him a place in Australia’s team to the 2005 National Geographic Championship in Budapest, Hungary. He is now excelling in the senior age division.
Senator Marise Payne spoke on the integration of values into our everyday life at assembly. Year 9 showed two of the videos they had made on a fair go for all and on integrity. Another two Year 9 students, Jack Zang and Frances Yuen, made a wonderful presentation on values in our lives.
Jarrah Lacko, Xi  Chen and Willy Mai did extremely well  at the UNSW Programming competition, coming first --- with three minutes to spare. It was extremely stressful for the spectators  ( Ms Connors reports that she got  a few more grey hairs) but the boys were very cool under pressure and their team working skills were superb!
We won a medal at the  NSW Combined High Schools Sports Association Athletics Congratulations to our 13 years boys relay team: Sanji Fernando, Daniel Xue, Kevin Guo and Chi-wai Kou. The team received a bronze medal!
Four drama students performed The Director’s Cut before a full house at the Riverside Theatre. I was very proud of Connie Wang, Sandy Lu, Mariya Hamid and Duncan Loi, whose item was the only drama in a program of song and dance in the Regional Celebrating the Arts Festival.
Shi Ling Kou and Connie Wang represented the school at the Healthy Lifestyles Forum at Castle Grand Community Centre.
Thank you to Mr Best and Mr Wong for a sensational  27 item Cabaret Night, Masquerade. The Concert Band, the Stage Band, the strings and the woodwinds all performed, as did the Jazz Ensemble and the Year 10  and Year 9 music classes. There were many solo and group acts. My favourite was a very individual, updated version of the Beatles’ Yesterday, performed by Daniel Vijayakumar, Michael Lai, Saravanam Satkumaran and Hindol Mukherjee.
I enjoyed Drama Night  as well. Thank you to Ms Webb and Ms Schauberger. Since the students were being assessed on their performances the audience were very co-operative. The four Year 11 drama students displayed their amazing talents with monologue performances of a very high standard. Congratulations to all the performers.
27 students received a perfect score (120 out of 120 possible marks) in the 2007 Rio Tinto Big Sciience Competition.
The School Captain of 1990, Dr Kate Fagan, was our guest speaker on Awards Day. In  the 1990 HSC Kate had come first in the state in Agriculture,  3 unit Mathematics and Modern History. Overall, she was second in the state and the top female student.  An outstanding achievement to emulate. Her PHD is in English Literature. Kate shared some of her experiences  since leaving school 17 years ago and performed one of her compositions. She won the Best Folk Album award at the 2006 National Film and Sound Archive Awards. Her latest album is Diamond Wheel.
Congratulations to the SRC. Their organisation for SRC week has been spectacular. Student participation and enthusiasm has been high. I was a little concerned for digestive systems after the wasabi, lemon and raw onion eating relays, but the students survived! The Rubix Cube challenge (well done John Fung!) and the balloon relay (with teachers) provided much merriment. Each recess and each lunch time had a wide range of activities. The school dance was well attended and enjoyed by all. Well done SRC!
Year 8, facilitated by some Year 11 students, participated in a workshop on building Collective Identity.  Students refined their capacities:  to interact with other cultures in a way that leads to the advancement of one’s own culture and not to its degradation; and, to deal efficiently and accurately with information rather than respond unwittingly to political and commercial propaganda. The program supports our Gesta non Verba motto, and is part of the school’s student welfare curriculum.
We are planning to launch our new website next term. I am really looking forward to it.
Larissa Treskin