This, of course, is the final newsletter for 2021 and I take the opportunity to thank everyone for a year that, although very challenging at times, has been extremely rewarding. Another year of lockdowns, remote learning and challenging restrictions have made things difficult for all, but I’m so pleased we have come through the end and have so many smiling faces at school this week ready for a well-deserved break!
On Monday and Tuesday, we held four separate Year 6 Graduation ceremonies (and handing on the light of leadership to Year 5) in a COVID-safe way. Although we would love to do things differently and have all Year 6 together, we did what was permitted and we greatly appreciate the many emails and thanks from so many Year 6 parents - appreciative of the efforts of our team and obvious ongoing support and care we have for your children. These emails and cards do make our day - thank you!
Our Year 6 Graduation disco was a great success too. Huge thanks to many Year 5 parents and members of the Community Council who assisted on the night to ensure this was a successful event for our Year 6 students. A huge thanks to our coordinator of the night, Mrs Jodie Herbert, who did an outstanding job coordinating DJ’s, decorations, gelato bars, pizzas, popcorn machines and drink stands! Thanks too, to staff and those parents mentioned above who stayed back close to 10pm.
These events have seen our outgoing Year Six students leaving us with the very best of memories. Their contribution, enthusiasm and good humour have been greatly appreciated and we wish them well for high school. Enjoy your final day tomorrow!
We have many new students joining us in 2022. In fact, next year we will be at approximately 765 students, an increase of 20 students in 2022 and an increase of 130 over the past five years! As at the end of any year there are families whose association, often over many years, finishes on the last day of this term. To those departing families and children I wish you well and thank you for your ongoing support of your children’s school.
We also farewell several staff members – Anne Smart, Michelle Weier, Andrea Abbott, Jordan Thompson, Kelsie Greenwood, Lara Burch, Anne Bowman and Joseph Deighton. Yesterday we were informed that our school counsellor, Mr Mark Holberton will be leaving Good Shepherd and working back in his home town of Goulburn from next year. Mark is a huge loss and we thank him for his support and efforts over the past few years. A new counsellor will be appointed in the new year.
Each staff member leaving us has made a special contribution to our school and is to be congratulated on the work and guidance given to the children of Good Shepherd. We wish them well.
Melissa Dunbar ‘Humble Achievers Award’
The Melissa Dunbar ‘Humble Achievers Award’ is presented to long serving volunteers of the Good Shepherd Community. It is awarded in memory of Melissa Dunbar, parent at Good Shepherd, who passed away in late 2016. Melissa dedicated many years of service to Good Shepherd. She was instrumental in organising many fundraising and community building events. The intent of the award is to recognise humble, enthusiastic, and supportive volunteers that provide generous service over time.
Following the nomination process, a panel consisting of Community Council members, the school Leadership Team and staff, are pleased to announce the 2021 winner of the ‘Humble Achievers Award’ is Ilze Groves.
Ilze is a grandmother at Good Shepherd who has volunteered her time tirelessly in classrooms for over 7 years (Pre-COVID of course!). I called Ilze to let her know of her award and she replied via email with the following (that explains her history with the school… thank you and congratulations Ilze!):
It’s nearly seven years now since I first asked about whether classroom volunteers were needed at Good Shepherd. I was looking for a fun retirement activity that would use my training and experience and be useful to the community. As it turns out, I’ve enjoyed my role as a volunteer classroom helper so much that I’ve just kept coming back for more and more.
This award seems to show that my efforts have been useful as well as fun for me. I am deeply honoured to receive it. I did not know Melissa Dunbar and have not been involved with the Community Council, but I have watched this award being presented in earlier years and I always marvelled at how much and for how long the winners gave of themselves in serving the school and its community. It really is a great honour to be counted among those other volunteers.
But I have to say that if I have added value at Good Shepherd, it is because of the wonderful staff here. For one or two days a week, I’ve been ‘an extra ‘pair of hands’ for more than 20 teachers over the years. If I’ve been useful in their classrooms, it’s only because of the planning they put in and the guidance they offered on what I needed to do - from kindergarten craft activities to reading, writing or maths with the older kids. So, thank you to all the teachers and all the support staff for your dedication and hard work, and for making this school such a great place to be! Thank you to the students for your friendly welcome when I turn up in your classrooms.
And thank you so much for this award! I hope that, Covid permitting, I’ll be back next year…and for a good few years yet.
2022 starting dates
Please note the following dates:
Tuesday 25 January Front Office open
Friday 28 January Front Office open
Monday 31 January School resumes for Years K – 6
Special thanks to the School Community Council for their contributions to the life of the School. A special mention to Erin Burrows, our Community Council Chair and Fr Mark Croker (Parish Priest) for their ongoing support of me, the staff, our parents, and students.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all the families, staff, first responders and emergency services involved in yesterday’s tragedy at Hillcrest Primary School in Tasmania. When the unthinkable happens in a school with young primary school students, it is a huge blow to our all our hearts. This is a monumental tragedy and my prayers are with this community at this time, and I know yours do, too.
Finally, I wish everyone in the Good Shepherd school community a restful and enjoyable break and a wonderful Christmas.
Wishing God’s blessing on you and your families,
If you are here for Christmas please sign your children up to join our Nativity Play! Roles for children in Years 3 – 9 Christmas Nativity at Mass on Christmas Eve 24 December. Younger children are welcome to come dressed as a shepherd or angel and join the procession to Bethlehem – no practice is required.
If your child would like to be involved complete the form below
Walking Together is an online Advent resource from our local Archdiocese, designed to help parents, carers and grandparents prepare reflectively for Christmas. It will be available in 4 instalments – one each week - of a 10 minute video and downloadable discussion questions. Use it whenever suits you, to reflect alone or with your family, or join an in-person or online group to discuss the contents with others. All information available at www.cgcatholic.org.au/ADVENT
|Kindergarten||KD - Oakley R||KE - Londyn-Belle T||KF - Archer T||KM - Mason G|
|Year 1||1Co - Inioluwa O||1Cu - Georgia R||1MB - Amelia W||1M - Sadie V D|
|Year 2||2B - Miriam J||2H - Joshua C||2K - Hugo A R||2TC - Evelyn S|
|Year 3||3G - Jayden W||3Th - Luca B||3To - Giam M||3Z - Elisabeth K|
|Year 4||4GB - Valentino P||
4Rob - Kashvi P
|4Rou - Aarush S||4S - Noah H|
|Year 5||5A - Charlotte M||5CT -Scarlett P||5D - Zander Y||5WO - Yu-Yi C|
|Year 6||6K - Clare B||6N - Charlotte W||6Pa - Shantala K||6PO - Milana A|
While the netball year didn’t quite finish how we wanted it to, our 11 Good Shepherd Netball Club (GSNC) teams had another great year.
A number of teams were on track to play finals, however, as with many sports, the season was cut short due to lockdown. We hope to come back bigger and better next year and look forward to welcoming returning and new players for the 2022 season.
Preliminary dates have been released for the 2022 winter season. Round 1 will kick-off on Saturday, 19 March, with the final round to be played on 20 August. If teams make the finals, these will be played out over three weeks: 27 August; 3 September; and 10 September.
GSNC will hold a registration/come and try day early in Term 1 for interested returning and new players.
We’d like to take this opportunity to say farewell to our Year 6 players, many of whom have played for GSNC for six years. We wish you all the very best in your new journey in high school and hope to see you at the netball courts with your new club in 2022.
Special thanks and a GSNC farewell also to former President Kelly Eggleston and Committee member, Sarah Higginbotham, both of whom have been involved in the Club for many years running. Thank you for your time, commitment and dedication to our beautiful little club.
To our coaches, managers and umpires, please take a bow, without the generous gift of your time we would not be able to do what we do as a club. Thank you for putting up your hand to volunteer and ensuring our children could train and take the court each week.
We look forward to an uninterrupted (fingers crossed) season in 2022.
Dinah Bryant, GSNC co-ordinator
Special occasion recipes
"The fondest memories are made gathered around a table"
Does your family have a favourite recipe or tradition for Christmas? Please consider sharing this with our school community. Or do you have another special celebration which you have a prized recipe for? We would love to see these recipes shared so please consider contributing these to our 20 Years celebrating Good Shepherd cookbook.
Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Please do not hesitate to contact DMFS helpline over the Christmas period if you need any help or support. Ph: 1800 624 608Many Blessings Mrs Taryn Ahern DSM
There are several steps you can take to make the process more manageable for children and to help them become more positive and self-reliant. We also offer a range of support for children, including assistance with changing schools and special programs for young children and teenagers.
For more information about guiding children through relocations, contact the all-hours Defence Member and Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.
You can contact the Defence Member and Family Helpline on 1800 624 608 for 24-7 support, advice or referral if you or your children are experiencing difficulties with the move.
Support for changing schools
We have specialist aides and mentors placed in primary and secondary schools across Australia to smooth the transition of Defence children into the new school and community and to provide them with support as needed.
Education Liaison Officers, or EDLOs, are specialists who can advise you about local education systems, schools, education issues and support available for Defence students.
To assist children with moving between schools, we have resources to help them capture and scrapbook their experiences, achievements, friends and memories from each school and take them on to the next. The School Posting Passport gives a quick snapshot of all the schools the student has been part of, while the Digital Portfolio Builder is a more detailed electronic record of their information. You can order these resources for free from the Defence Member and Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.
Related: Kids' education support
KidSMART and TeenSMART
We also run fun and interactive resilience-building programs for children, called KidSMART and TeenSMART. These programs target challenging aspects of Defence life such as relocation.
Children learn how to manage change and stresses in their lives, and gain practical tips for dealing with the moving to a new location and school.
KidSMART guides primary aged children through handling emotions with the help of mascots Tyler Turtle and Sam Super. Older children attend a one-day TeenSMART session, where they can meet like-minded Defence teens and share their stories about being part of a military family.
Contact the Defence Member and Family Helpline on 1800 624 608 for more information or to sign up for a program.
There are often local events held for Defence families, such as regional welcome or farewell events, craft sessions, picnics or seasonal activities like Easter egg hunts. These events are an opportunity for Defence children to meet kids in the same situation as themselves, have a lot of fun and feel part of and proud of the Defence community.
Getting involved in community activities like drama, sports, art or music can help children to make friends and feel more comfortable and at home in their new location. There are also various youth groups and services available to support young people.
We have a range of services to help you source and access the community resources that best suit your child’s needs. Contact the Defence Member and Family Helpline on 1800 624 608 to access our community directory or to obtain personalised advice.
A huge thank you to our Good Shepherd Knitting Ladies for all your amazing efforts this year in various knitting projects. The Good Shepherd knitting group is made up of grandmothers, mothers, Good Shepherd staff members and our extended Good Shepherd community.
This year the Good Shepherd knitting group assisted with knitting over 200 Good Shepherd Bears for our 2022 Kindergarten students. They have also knitted Time Rabbits for the Defence students whose parents are deployed or away. We have been so lucky to be able to add the cuddle animals and pillows to our Learning Support room and classrooms for our students to hug in the calming spaces.
As a school we feel so blessed to have these incredible ladies knitting such precious items for our students. Every time we receive some of these amazing items at the front office, they bring a huge smile to the face of our staff and warm the hearts of everyone who gives them a big cuddle. Mrs Aitken has even added some of these very special items to our school library Nativity scene again this year!
We always welcome new knitters to our Good Shepherd knitting group. Please email Mrs Ahern if you would like to help us in knitting for our students.
Christmas can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be.
Many of us feel added financial and social stresses during the festive season. The pressure is on some of us to create a magical day for our family. The holiday period can increase loneliness and hardship for others.
Try to keep in mind that the true gift of the season is our presence, not our presents.
Giving our time, our words and our presence makes others feel great, but it also lifts our own mood and makes us feel our lives have more meaning.
Find time to recharge
It's been a tough year so take the time this holiday period to rest, regroup and recharge. It's time to soak up some sun, read a book, go for a walk and just be with the people that fill your bucket. Here are some tips to on How to make Self Care a priority for your family.
If you need support during this time please access Support services in the ACT for Children and Families.