Radford Bulletin Term 3, Week 4 – 9 August 2017

Staff Insights

Fiona Godfrey, Principal

From the Principal

9 August 2017

Dirrum DIrrum 2017, P&F Association Board Nominee, Foundation update, NAPLAN 2017 results and distribution of student reports

At last Wednesday's assembly I commented to the students that, even though this is the coldest part of the year when people tend to slow down and stay indoors, Radford seems busier than ever. Over the past couple of weeks, we have had the Year 11, 7, 3, 2 and PK 2019 Information evenings, the Winter Concert, the Rowing Information Night, the ACT–Southern NSW Interschool Skiing Championships, a full weekend of winter sport and, of course, the annual Dirrum Dirrum Festival.

Collectively, these events and activities help to shape the Radford community. On one hand, they showcase the talents of our students and allow for parent involvement. But, on another level, these sorts of activities allow our students to be involved in an array of different experiences, broadening their skills and testing their resolve.

Like many people from the Radford and wider Canberra community, I had the privilege of attending the Dirrum Dirrum festival over the weekend. As is so often the case at Dirrum Dirrum, the speakers were as interesting as they were different. But even though their stories were divergent, they followed a common theme. Each of them spoke with passion about their cause and their willingness to do something to bring about change. This is at the core of the Dirrum Dirrum philosophy, which seeks humble leadership, the development of a climate of inspiration and the circle of responsibility.

The festival was also noteworthy for the way in which the student organisers worked to bring it to fruition. For nearly a year now, the students have worked tirelessly to organise speakers, venues, food, stalls, music, tickets, logistics and, of course, the marketing of the event. Along the way, each student has followed their personal quest, known as their Dirrum Challenge. It has been inspirational to hear them speak with great passion about an issue that has sparked their interest, and to which they hope to be able to make some positive contribution. I would also like to congratulate and thank all of the staff who were involved in the Dirrum Dirrum festival, especially Fr Richard Browning, whose passion, commitment and energy is inspiring and infectious.

P&F Association Nominee on the Board
Due to the expiry of the term of the current P&F College Board nominee, Mr Ed Hutchison, the P&F is inviting members of the P&F Association to nominate to become the Association's next nominee on the College Board.

As part of the governance model of Radford College, the P&F nominates one individual, selected by the P&F Management Committee, for a two-year term as a Director, subject to approval by the Chairman of the Board.

The P&F nominee is first and foremost an independent Director on the Board of Radford College Ltd. Directors must exercise their powers and duties in good faith in the best interests of the College. The Board of Directors is the key policymaking body within the College and the management of the Company is vested in the Board; however, the Board limits itself to matters of overall governance and leaves the day-to-day management of the College to the Principal and the Executive.

The nominee provides a report to the Board on the activities of the P&F and the issues with which the Management Committee is dealing. This supplements the regular meetings between the Chair and the Principal and can be used as a mechanism to highlight the current or future projects of the parent body.

The Board's three subcommittees are the Finance Committee, the Buildings and Grounds Committee and the Education and Wellbeing Committee. Traditionally, the P&F nominee sits on the Education and Wellbeing Committee, which looks at issues impacting the school's education and pastoral care frameworks.

In practical terms, the successful nominee is expected to attend monthly Board meetings, sit on the Education and Wellbeing Committee and serve as an ex-officio member of the P&F Management Committee, attending its meetings. There is also a requirement to draft and read Board papers.

Any person wishing to nominate for this role should send an expression of interest and a current brief CV to P&F Liaison Officer Ms Angie Walters by Tuesday 29 August. Short-listed candidates are to attend the P&F meeting on Thursday 31 August to make a brief presentation to the Management Committee.

The College, the Board and the P&F Association would like to thank Ed Hutchinson for his work in this role over the last two years. Ed's professionalism and strategic vision have made him an asset to both the Board and the P&F Association. It has been a great pleasure working alongside Ed.

Foundation update
As many would recall, the College officially launched the Radford College Development Foundation in early June and, since that time, I am pleased to report, we have had a number of significant donations. This is a pleasing result, particularly as the Foundation is only in its infancy.

Given the importance of having donors in the Foundation's fledgling months, the Directors have decided that anyone who makes a contribution to the Foundation up until 30 June 2018, will automatically become a Cornerstone Donor. This title recognises those people who have put their faith in our newly created Foundation, and it is a recognition that will endure throughout the life of the Radford College Foundation.

Over time, the Foundation will be announcing levels of attainment to encourage donors to continue giving, even if they are small amounts annually. It is also envisaged that donors will be recognised in a permanent display in one of the College facilities as well as being thanked and recognised in each edition of the Radford Report.

One of the major incentives to establish the Foundation was to be able to offer scholarships to families who do not have the means to send their child to Radford, in particular those children who come from disadvantaged or marginalised groups within our community. I am pleased to report that, despite the short period since its establishment, the Foundation intends to offer a scholarship from 2019. More details about this exciting announcement will follow soon.

NAPLAN 2017 results and distribution of student reports
The College has received information that the NAPLAN 2017 report envelopes for parents/carers of students will be delivered to us by Tuesday 15 August 2017. Each report envelope contains the National Student Report 2017, Additional Student Report 2017 and a letter from the ACT Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development. We will endeavour to have the report envelopes distributed to parents as quickly as possible after this date.

To assist parents in interpreting the student reports, ACARA has published a parent information brochure and video which can be accessed through the ACARA Student Reports webpage. If parents require further assistance, they are welcome to make contact with the College.

Dirrum Dirrum 2017

Chaplain's Reflection: Dirrum Dirrum 2017

9 August 2017

Chaplain's reflection: our experience of goodness is inseparable from the common good

Dirrum Dirrum 2017You don’t come to Dirrum because the stories and ideas and people resonate and align with your thinking. You come because they challenge and jar and extend – and that is just what the student organisers have to share!

There were eight amazing speakers at this year’s festival:

  • One of them can be imprisoned for two years for saying what he said (and another two years each time he does it again).
  • One cannot walk away from what he said, literally. He can never take a break from being what he talked about, have a holiday from it or even a sleep apart from it. Quadriplegia goes everywhere with him. This same speaker would not have it any other way and is genuinely one of the most grateful human beings ever to roll into Radford.
  • Only one speaker, by her presence, actually stopped people from coming. She is the only one who, by speaking, received a hate post from a random troll in the Twitter world.
  • Only one has the number of Chris Martin of Coldplay in his contact list. He is a professional advocate and travelled the furthest to join us, from New York. (He was not paid and was accommodated in a stranger’s home – a Radford staff member.)
  • Only one didn’t finish his talk. Because it isn’t finished yet. He shared his life’s work and does not yet know the ending – what will happen when poor and illiterate farmers in Africa learn from a tool that unlocks the mysteries of water soil and caloric creation.
  • One took up the challenge to face 365 fears in a year and recommends this as a way of engaging the rich fertile ground that is on the other side of comfort.
  • Only one spoke using three minutes of silence, and gave a pathway for a lifetime of being human immersed in the common good.
  • Only one wears a wig for a day job, argues like a QC for a new Australian hero in John Hubert Plunkett and the teaching of the Myall Creek Massacre in schools across Australia. That’s because the rule of law applies to ALL human beings, not just white ones.

The test of the worth of the festival is not how amazing was the day itself, but the living that follows. To those who take this seriously, this is what it might look like:

Whatever you are passionate about, whatever deep motivation moves within you, whatever natural skills and character you carry:

Follow these.

And where this path intersects with a need in our community

dwell here, inhabit here, be attentive here.

It is where you will be most alive.

(God increase this work)

And then discover this, if you haven’t already – our experience of goodness is inseparable from the common good.


Paul Southwell, Head of Junior School

JS News 9 August 2017

9 August 2017

Junior School: agile, vibrant and always busy

Monday 14 August Y3 Flamenco Dancing; Y5/6 Girls AFL; KCT Excursion to 'Imagine if ...'
Tuesday 15 August Y3 Learning Journey; Y3 ICAS Maths Test

Each year I talk about how busy Term 3 is, and my wife reminds me that all four terms are like Term 3 – busy! Agile and vibrant schools are always busy – you sense a buzz when you enter them.

This week I share a glimpse of Junior School vibrancy, without including the 'real work' done!

  • Monday provided Marcus Graham with the opportunity to present the College Master Plan to our families. Prior to this meeting, however, he was 'grilled' by Year 1 students discussing their unit on 'Light and Sound'.
  • Renowned educationalist Kath Murdoch presented to Canberra's PYP School staff on Tuesday. This was an opportunity for schools from all three sectors to work together.
  • As an Apple Distinguished School, we hosted an Apple Event on Wednesday.
  • Following last week's Winter Concert, I am looking forward to attending the Y5/6 Music Recital this evening.
  • This Saturday will see a significant number of staff involved in the second phase of their Philosophy for Kids Level 1 Workshops.
  • Last week Year 6 was able to tap into the knowledge of the brilliant presenters at Dirrum Dirrum 2017. This week, they have staged their own Exhibition Conference.
  • We will host teachers from other PYP schools in Canberra for PYP Open Schools this week.
  • Year 2 have an Indigenous Storytelling Workshop to support their unit.
  • Preparation for the Year 5 Camp is ramping up, as they get ready to delve deeply into leadership.
  • All our teaching teams have been interrogating data specific to one area of their learner cohorts. The teams are refining their targeted learning strategies, use of professional support, learning spaces and other evidence. The culmination is the development of a team iBook to share and grow.
  • Following our midyear reports, we have reconvened our Assessment/Reporting Committee to consider refinements to certain areas.
  • Our Wellbeing staff team has met to continue to develop our approach across P–6.
  • All staff are actively engaged in identifying evidence for more than 70 IB Standards and Practices that are required to be addressed for our PYP Evaluation in 2018.


Vibrant and agile ... and a 'good' busy.

Yrs 1–4 Piano Recital – Wednesday 23 August, Week 6, Term 3. FORM DUE 18 August (end Week 5) FORM ON ROL


Oli Golding and Mia Garland, Subject Co-Captains, Visual Arts, with Hayley Lander

Inspired artist/s

9 August 2017

By Mia Garland, Year 11, Co-Subject Captain, Visual Arts

Visual artist and collegian, Hayley Lander, shares her career story, her work and technical expertise with students

By Mia Garland, Year 11,  Subject Co-Captain, Visual Arts

Collegian Hayley Lander, who graduated from Radford College in 2010, presented to our Senior Visual Art class about what it is like being an artist and her journey to get where she is today. She is a highly successful painter who currently also works in a commercial gallery. Hayley was very informative and gave us an insight into what you might expect if you choose to study visual art at a tertiary level. She studied at ANU School of Art and really enjoyed the studio environment and said 'You really get to find your style surrounded by other passionate up and coming artists'.

Hayley has an impressive record, having won many different art prizes, residencies and scholarships and has been accepted into programs to further improve her skills. She talked about her passion for the natural environment and how important finding inspiration is when creating meaningful artworks. She is often inspired by walking in the bush. She shared with us the importance of experimenting with ideas and using different media to further your art practice.

'What lies in-between', oil on board, diptych, 83. x 116 cm

Her artworks are not only visually impressive but the ideas behind them are meaningful and shed light on matters such as our changing environment and the urban development of Canberra. She shared her tips on different painting techniques and using different supports on which to paint, such as wood and aluminium, instead of traditional canvas. Her knowledge of colour-mixing using oil paint was particularly useful as the majority of her paintings are realistic. This sharing of technical knowledge was particularly timely for the class as the Semester 2 unit is 'Painting'. So far, we have all completed small realistic still life paintings using gouache and have just started using wax to create abstract landscapes using the encaustic technique on wooden panels. Next, we will be painting in oil paint before we begin our major work.

Hayley was very generous in sharing so much about her work and life, even bringing in some of her special paintings so we could closely observe the surface and texture in her work.

A play about what happens when you don't think before you post...

Year 9-10 drama "Behind the Drums"

2 August 2017

Nick Akhurst, Head of Department, Co-curricular Drama/Dance/Oratory

Our responsibility to think before we post or link

By Nick Akhurst, Head of Co-Curricular Drama, Dance and Oratory

Behind the Drums
 is the 2017 Year 9–10 Drama Production.  

This piece of theatre has been influenced by the new Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) program that is being delivered in tutor groups this year.

The play’s consideration of how social media influences our lives looks at our use of social media, often without thought of the consequences of our actions in the digital world and the repercussions on others in the physical world.

The Year 9 and 10 students have helped shape this performance, which was written by teacher and Radford collegian Jennifer Wright, to show that, as a society, we have a responsibility to think before we post or link. This is a challenging topic and the students have worked hard to develop the story and perform it with passion.

Behind the Drums follows Lucy, a young woman whose photo, taken at a music festival without her permission, is posted out of context and goes viral. The play uses drama, humour, music and a little dancing to show how technology and social media require us to use our humanity when engaging online.

Dates: 7 pm, 10, 11 and 12 August; TB Millar Hall
Tickets: $10.00, available at TryBooking and at the door.

Radford Rocks

Radford will rock next Wednesday evening

9 August 2017

Matthew Heinrich, Coordinator of Rock/Pop Ensembles

Rock/Pop Ensemble students set to electrify the TB Millar stage

By Matthew Heinrich, Coordinator of Rock/Pop Ensembles

On Wednesday 16 August, 12 rock/pop bands from Years 6–12 will perform on the TB Millar stage at the annual Radford Rocks concert. All members of the community are invited to celebrate the achievements of the increasing contemporary elements of our vibrant Co-curricular Music program.

The evening will amplify the musical talents of 55 students performing on vocals, electric guitars, bass guitars, keyboards, brass and drums.

Time: 5.30–6.30 pm
Date: Wednesday, 16 August
Venue: TB Millar Hall

The ensembles performing on the night are:
Airborne Shadow
Canned Pineapple
Playing Up (Autopilot / LCM combined)
Rubber Band
Swamp Rock
The Following
The Predators
The Pugs


Girls Programming Network Workshop at Radford 10 September

Girls' Programming Workshop - Y4 -Y12

8 August 2017

Alan Liversidge, Teacher

Workshop at Radford 10 September

The Canberra Girls' Programming Network is a community for female students in Years 4-12 to learn about programming and technology through hands-on workshops.  The girls are also introduced to female role models across academia, government and industry.   

Their next workshop will be held at Radford College on September 10! Flyer + registration form

The workshop topic is Flappy Bird.  You'll be using pygame to send your flappy bird flying through the sky, hopefully avoiding the many obstacles in her way. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017
Please arrive by 9.30am for registration
Workshop begins at 10am
Parents and teachers invited for afternoon tea at 3.30pm
Conclusion at 4pm 

Female students from Years 4-12 

What do I need to know?
Absolutely no coding experience necessary.  All programming skill levels will be catered for.   

How do I register?
You'll need to register by Monday 4 September 2017 to attend.

1)     send an email to asd.dish@defence.gov.au
2)      visit https://canberragpn.github.io/register


3)     email alan.liversidge@radford.act.edu.au

You will receive information and confirmation of registration via email prior to the workshop day. 

Orienteering coach Paul de Jongh giving guidance

Sports Report 9 Aug 17

9 August 2017

Sports Department

Orienteering, Basketball, and Football reports

Secondary School Athletics Carnival
The annual Secondary School Athletics Carnival is on Thursday 17 August at the AIS Athletics track. The program is available on Radford Online.

By Toni Brown 

Eight degrees actual, zero degrees wind chill temperature, and a few light showers interspersed with periods of sunshine – that’s what our Radford Squad endured early Saturday morning around the forests of Mount Ainslie. Cool as it was, the runners all gave it their best with some strong runs all round. 

Orange 1 – Brendan Wilson and Toby Lang 6th and 7th respectively
Orange 2 – Ben Hobson 2nd 

Congratulations to the following 8 students who have been selected to represent the ACT in the upcoming School Sport Australia Championships in September: 

  • Justine Hobson (Junior Girls)
  • Noah Poland (Senior Boys)
  • Ryan Stocks (Senior Boys)
  • Andrew Kerr (Junior Boys)
  • Toby Lang (Junior Boys)
  • David Stocks (Junior Boys)
  • Brendan Wilson (Junior Boys)
  • Ben Hobson (Junior Boys)


Congratulations to the following 4 boys who have been selected to represent Radford College & Canberra at the u14 boys Club Championship Tournament to be held in Dandenong, Victoria in October this year.  Good luck boys!

  • Andy Do
  • Benny Marr
  • Lachlan Smith
  • Izaak Rankin (reserve)

James Martin The Gunners Academy competes in the Basketball NSW Waratah State League, which is a regional-based open league, covering areas such as Wagga Wagga, Queanbeyan, Bathurst, Dubbo and Lithgow. Congratulations and well done to James Martin whose team won their quarter-final game over the weekend beating the Shoalhaven Tigers in a thrilling game, final score 81- 79.  

This weekend they head up to play Maitland in Maitland, good luck to James and the team. 

U15 Division 2 Open – Radford Raiders v Woden Valley Lightning 3-3 draw
By Blake Mayer

A goal in the dying minutes to draw the game, two penalties and three yellow cards, a game filled with drama and entertainment. It took 20 minutes of good keeping and poor shots before a goal was scored. A Radford corner that saw the ball hit just outside of the 18-yard box and finished off by our centre mid (Blake Mayer), with a left-footer into the back of the net, saw Radford 1-0 in the 20th minute. 

This score carried through half-time, with the second goal coming straight after the break to Woden, getting the scores level again. Before Radford getting consecutive goals taking it to a 3-1 lead, including a penalty professionally taken by Milo. A second penalty was taken by Blake, but it was shot just over the right corner crossbar.   

This penalty left Radford 3-1 up, with 20 minutes left. Radford went fully defensive after the penalty and slowed the play in attack. With two late goals, including a goal in the last 3 minutes, from outside the 18-yard box, leaving the game’s score at a respectable 3-3 draw, which fairly reflected the game. 

U13 Division 2 Open – Radford 1 def. by Canberra FC 4
By John Shelton-Agar

This week’s game was held at cold and very windy Yarralumla oval.  During the first half Alex Schofield made a number of strong attacks for Radford unfortunately without result.  A wind assisted corner from Darcy Franks almost crossed the line.  Radford was unlucky not to be ahead at half time with James Knight not really tested in goal.  A few quick goals against the run of play early in the second half put Canberra FC in front.  Strong play from Radford for the remainder of the second half resulted in a well-deserved goal to Will Gregory late in game. 

Tara Moss with Radford students at the Press Club presentation

Press Club lunch with Tara Moss

9 August 2017

Tara shared her own experiences as a victim of online abuse

By Claire Melloy, Director of Student Development 

Tara Moss is an author, journalist, TV documentary presenter, human rights advocate and anti-cyberbullying campaigner. 

On Wednesday Georgie Sayers, Jennifer Kerr, Rachael Phelan, Nicole Georgopoulos and I attended a Press Club lunch to hear Tara Moss speak on the issues associated with, and the implications and impacts of, cyberbullying. 

Tara shared her own experiences as a victim of online abuse and the lengths she had to go to get abusive accounts shut down.

Tara spoke about how more often than not when people are the victims of cyberbullying they retreat from the social media space. She said many young women particularly will self-censor to avoid abuse. She mentioned that a lot of women writing online are targeted and receive a disproportionate share of abuse online. She then spoke about the link between cyber abuse and mental illness. 

Tara highlighted that this isn’t a technology issue, it is people ‘pouring their prejudice’ into technology. 

She called for more perpetrator prevention and fundamental changes to some processes to ensure greater consistency, such as police recording victim statements straight into a device with prompting questions (as opposed to recording things in a notebook.) 

Implications discussed for schools were to ensure that students fully understand online ethics, the law and their rights online. 

During question time Georgie Sayers asked a superb question about the role of those with a strong following online and those in positions of power to ensure that their voices always modelled respectful behavior on and offline. Several journalists said they wished they had thought of that!

Georgie Sayers at Press Club Q&A with Tara Moss

Round Square exchange to Woodleigh School, Mornington Peninsual

Round Square exchange to Woodleigh School

7 August 2017

Jasmine Sun, Year 8

A different style of living and learning

By Jasmine Sun, Year 8

This year I had the amazing opportunity to go on exchange to Woodleigh School on the Mornington Peninsula. During the two weeks I was there, I got to experience going to a different school, living on a farm as well as sightseeing around the Mornington Peninsula and Melbourne.

Throughout my stay at Woodleigh School I experienced how the school worked and how different it is to Radford. Unlike Radford, Woodleigh was in the bush and surrounded by nature. They also didn't have a uniform, but rather had to wear clothes that were green, yellow, grey, brown or cream. I thought it was really interesting at first but then realised that it was super hard to figure out what to wear to school in the morning. I much prefer having a uniform ready!

At Woodleigh instead of sport houses they had homesteads. Homesteads were groups of students from years 7–10 that you did most things with, not just sports. For example, at recess and lunch you would go there to heat up your food and socialise. Also, on Tuesdays we would participate in a homestead activity, these included bowling and going op shopping. Similar to Radford, Woodleigh had tutors but they were within the homesteads instead of a random selection of kids from the year. Your tutor and tutor group would stay the same for your whole schooling up to years 11–12. I thought this was a good way to get to know a group of kids really well from your year.

The style of learning was also extremely different to Radford. The school was based on independent learning. When homework was set you were expected to do it but consequences for not completing it were much less than Radford. For me I prefer the Radford style of learning more, because I like having strict structure, although independent learning was really eye-opening.

I loved the experience of living with another family and on a farm because it has been a lifelong dream of mine. While living on the farm I got to experience cool things like feeding all the animals twice a day, and once a week putting the bins out, but on the back of a quad bike to make it to the end of the driveway!

Overall I loved being part of this exchange experience. I got to live on a farm, experience a new school and see Victoria. I would definitely recommend this experience to anyone that loves a change and putting themselves out there.

Stem breakfast

'Girls in STEM' breakfast

9 August 2017

Lauren Robards, Science Captain

Women sharing their passion for science

By Lauren Robards, Science Captain

On the morning of Thursday 27 July, nine female students from Y10–12 attended the Girls in STEM breakfast hosted by the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering. All of us who attended have an interest in physics, or science in general, and saw this as an opportunity to meet some like-minded people from other schools in the ACT.

After the breakfast, we heard from the 2017 Women in Physics lecturer, astrophysicist Dr Katie Mack. She spoke to us about how the universe was formed and how the collection of galaxies that make up the known universe, which have been observed by the Hubble Space Telescope, form a honeycomb shape. She also talked about black holes and the big bang. She showed us computerised animations that indicated there was a black hole at the centre of most galaxies and that we could still see the light from the big bang. However, the light that we are seeing from the big bang left its position 13.8 billion years ago, so reminding us that looking into space is really looking into the past, often the VERY distant past.

Composition of the universeNext, she spoke to us about her major passion, which is dark matter and dark energy. She explained how we can’t actually see dark matter or dark energy but that it can be detected and that, combined, they make up just over 95 per cent of the universe. The material that we take for granted – like atoms, solids, liquids and gases – only accounts for 4.9 per cent of all matter in the universe!

One phenomenon that shows evidence of dark matter is called Einstein rings. The immense gravity of dark matter causes space to be ‘bent’ – like a bowling ball sitting on a couch – so that light passing near the metaphoric bowling ball does not travel in a straight line. This can be viewed where the light of a distant universe is bent around the dark matter, which is situated directly between the observer and the distant universe, creating Einstein rings.

Einstein rings. Source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/06/hubble-telescope-einstein-impossible-genius-space-science/#/hubble-einstein-ring.jpg

Overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and it was great to hear someone passionate about her work using her position as a woman in research to benefit her discipline – because she just loves astrophysics!

National Science Week – 12–20 August 2017

Science Week 2017

9 August 2017

Tim Robards, Head of Science

The activities of Science Week are an opportunity for us all to ‘get into science’!

By Tim Robards, Head of Science

National Science Week 2017 runs from 12 to 20 August. The theme of this year's celebration of all things science is 'Future Earth', with a focus on Australia's sustainability science.  It highlights those issues that are unique to Australia and our region. Featuring over 1,000 events around Australia, Science Week happenings attract big audiences and occur in universities, schools, research institutions, libraries, museums and science centres across the country.

National Science Week – 12–20 August 2017Established in 1997, National Science Week provides an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of Australian scientists to the world of knowledge. It also aims to encourage an interest in science among the general public, and to encourage younger people to be fascinated by the world we live in.

Radford got into the spirit of 'Future Earth' at a recent assembly when School Captain Zach Browning gently challenged the school community to consider things as simple as the temperature of our thermostats (do we really need it to be that warm inside?), and our use of paper (think before colour printing that chapter of the textbook) and plastic wrap ... raising our awareness of how one school uses a staggering amount of resources!

So, what's happening at Radford this year? Well, it's started already! As a preview of Science Week, 150 students, including some of our keen science-minded students from the Junior School, attended a lunchtime lecture by the Women in Physics guest lecturer, Dr Katie Mack. Her research into dark energy and dark matter was mind-challenging to say the least.

In and around Science Week itself, the following events are planned:

  • Wednesday 16 August: the 'Stem Cell' will hold activities in the main quad for all young scientists to have their minds challenged with a range of interactive activities.
  • Friday 18 August: the Science teachers will provide demonstrations in the main quad to powerfully demonstrate scientific concepts, including the crushing effects of our atmosphere!
  • Tuesday 22 August: Year 8 students will be treated to a visiting presenter who will guide them through a forensic investigation called 'A Case of Conspiracy'.
  • Week 5: The library will host an interactive space exhibit.

Don't limit your engagement with Science Week to just Radford. In Canberra, we are spoiled to have loads of events available for you to join in. Visit www.scienceweek.net.au for more details. Go on, get into science!


Worn Soles 2017

Worn Soles: Year 9 reflections

7 August 2017

To walk in the shoes of another

Year 9 students reflect on their experiences of the challenging  Worn Soles program


The ultimate refugee experience
By Claire Hughes and Sofia Le Lievre

Worn Soles refugee experiencePeople in our situation have barely any understanding when it comes to refugees. The only real experience any of us have had is based entirely on little snippets of news or small talks at school. That was until we were given this experience.

We arrived at school and immediately headed up Gossan Hill with our friends. While chatting away, we randomly got split into boys and girls. One of the biggest and hardest things was not getting told what we were doing. This left us all in the dark as to what was about to happen. And then the yelling started. We had a few teachers act as a border guards and shout at us in different languages. Not being allowed to talk was a more difficult part of the stage, as we are all very social people. Also, when we were put in that circumstance we wanted to know what was happening, we like to be around people we are comfortable with which didn't happen as we all got split up.

When we were all in a line, forms were handed out to each one of us. While many of the boys walked by quietly, most of the girls were being yelled at abusively in an unknown language, about things that were barely, if at all, understood. After a few people had been sorted the teacher/border guards began to search us for illegal foods or weapons.

Once sorted, we got a group number and had to go find this group. All of this was still without talking! We watched slowly as more and more groups were taken away to an unknown place. Once we had been put in our place, we got an assigned teacher (who didn't speak English) and got given little instruction.

Over the rest of the day, we were given little enjoyment, small proportions of food and water, no freedom, and no happiness. We had to complete activities out of our comfort zones and cook food that we may have never seen before with no guidance what so ever.

One of the biggest things that was hard for all of us was being treated like we didn't matter. With people not speaking to us in English and us feeling like we didn't have a say in what was happening, it was difficult. This really opened our minds to what really does happen in refugee camps. Even though this experience really opened our eyes, we still only received a glimpse of the real situations that occur in refugee camps.

Eagle and caneball
By Lachlan French and Mia Koundouris

CaneballDuring Worn Soles in Week 9, a guest speaker named Moo K'Lue Digay came and talked about his troubles that he went through as a refugee. Moo K'Lue Digay was nicknamed Eagle because of his magnificent jumps through the air and kicking a ball over the net. He came and talked to us about his struggles through the refugee camps.

This ties with the Worn Soles week because during the first week, the Year 9 students were learning about the hardships refugees (such as Eagle) face and how they cope with the hardships of boredom.

After Eagle's insightful presentation Year 9 went to the gym to experience the sport 'caneball', a sport that is very important to Eagle. Caneball is a sport that is like volleyball, except you kick the ball instead of using hands to hit the ball.

The whole experience was very insightful and everyone learnt so much from Eagle's presentation.

Big Bang Ballers Briefing
By Connor Watt and Jacinta Davies

Big Bang BallersThe Big Bang Ballers is an international charity, which uses basketball to tackle youth poverty and social disadvantage worldwide. During the Worn Soles week, T, Pierre and Kalie came as representatives from Big Bang Ballers to introduce their concepts to us and the basis of the charity.

Pierre Johannessen, CEO of Big Bang Ballers and recipient of the 2010 ACT Young Australian of the Year award, spoke to us about the struggle and sacrifice of refugees. The story he told us of the hardships he witnessed firsthand resonated deeply among all of us. He told us of the cruelties inflicted on Bangladesh's youth, informing us of how he saw a police officer physically abuse a 10-year old, simply because he interfered with a basketball game. This inspired Pierre into helping these poor children, eventually leading to the formation of Big Bang Ballers.

His story was emotionally insightful, and helped shape our perception and appreciation of our current lives, and what some have to tolerate.

After explaining the foundations of Big Bang Ballers, Pierre explained how the program spread worldwide and was permanently established in 12 countries, whilst running in many more countries. At the conclusion of the presentation, he explained how students could get involved, and what we would be doing in their workshop.

It was a very engaging and enlightening presentation, which educated us on the issues and struggles of youth globally and how this can be tackled through inclusion and empathy.

SIEVX – where the boat meets the ocean

By Sarah Zhu and Georgia Waddell-Wood

The SIEVX Memorial is dedicated to all the lives lost in the sinking of an unknown suspected illegal entry vessel headed for Australia. The vessel had 421 asylum seekers on board and there were only 45 survivors after the boat sank in Indonesian waters. To represent each life lost there was a pole erected in Weston Park. Each pole was decorated by schools, churches and community groups across Australia. Approximately 146 children, 142 women and 65 men who tragically lost their lives in the sinking. The poles have descriptions on them which state their name and age, but many did not have this information.

This memorial was very eye-opening for our year group. Some of the poles were set out in the shape of the actual boat which held over 400 passengers. As a group that consisted of around 40 people, we found the boat extremely small and didn't understand how a boat could have set out with over 400 passengers, for a long period of time.

Many people did not know about this memorial and being given the chance to see and learn about the memorial was a very engaging and informative experience.

By Gracie Mitchell and Anne Ruiz-Ferrandiz

SIEV XThroughout Worn Soles week, we engaged in multiple rotation tasks. One of the most significant experiences was the excursion to the SIEVX National Memorial in Yarralumla. The memorial was paying homage to the 146 children, 142 mothers and 65 fathers that were lost while seeking asylum in Australia.

When we arrived at the memorial, 353 poles stood before us, each one representing a person. To be a witness to the sheer number of people lost was incredibly humbling. We observed the unique art on each pole that was decorated by communities, schools and churches. The 353 poles were labelled with names and ages of adults and children lost. The children were represented with smaller poles and the adults with the larger and families were grouped together. Near the beginning of the walk, 42 poles outlined the size of the boat that the asylum seekers were tightly crammed into and the very idea of so many people being in an overcrowded space was shocking. As we continued through the walk, names began to disappear and "unknown" plaques took their place. The number of men, women and children who couldn't be named was heartbreaking because of the fact that their families and friends wouldn't have known that they had passed away at sea.

For many of us, the experience was incredibly emotional because many of the poles represented such young children and as children, we felt a deep connection as we read our ages because they would never live a safe and happy life like the ones we had been blessed with.

The Blind Refugees – drama session
By Matt Yip, Holly George and Eugene Lim

On Worn Soles, Year 9s had the opportunity to experience how refugees felt being smuggled into a new country. One rotation was inside the drama room where one partner wore a blindfold and another had to guide their blind partner by only using their voice. Our teachers invited our special guest, Zsuzsi Soboslay, to do a workshop with us on refugees.

Our experience was created to simulate the trust refugees have in each other, how they were all in a state of uncertainty. To create this, Ms Soboslay told us to choose a partner that would be our eyes. Being blindfolded stimulated not knowing what will happen next as a refugee. Our guide would tell us to take steps to a classroom, then we walked around the classroom and our guides would try their best to not get their partner to bump into others. Guides had a lot of pressure to guide their partner to them by calling their names and telling them directions. When we got seated, we listened and watched a video, we then shared our point of view on the video.

This activity taught us how fortunate we are to not have experience this in real life as a refugee where their life is at risk.

How hungry would refugee rations make you?
By Sarah Gan

How much food do you think you need in order to feel satisfied? Throughout the last week of Term 2, Year 9 was introduced to the miniscule quantities of rations distributed to many refugees worldwide.

The rations for one person per week include 420g rice, 170g lentils, 125g dried chickpeas, 125g tinned sardines, 400g kidney beans, 300ml vegetable oil, and a 400g flour coupon. Looking back at the amount of the food, many of us were shocked at how a person was expected to eat only these foods, and nothing else. Additionally, the rations did not supply enough energy for anyone. Whilst many people know that refugee rations are small, we certainly did not expect the total food quantity to be roughly the size of a takeaway container.

Added to the fact that refugee rations are minute, we as a year group also realised that no-one is guaranteed definite rations. As they say, first come, first served. Speakers informed us that it was not all that rare to stand outside in the freezing cold for days, waiting for your tiny portion of food. Compared to life in Canberra, we realised just how different our privileged life is, compared to refugees, even on the most basic levels such as food. Overall, the visualisation of refugee rations has helped us gain insight into part of the lives of refugees, hopefully enabling us to empathise perhaps just that little bit more with them.

You Can't Ask That
By Ageesh Singh and Xander Doshi

On Thursday morning we watched an episode of a TV show called You Can't Ask That produced by ABC. The show asked inappropriate and uncomfortable questions to marginalised and often misunderstood Australians. The episode we watched featured refugees. The interviewer asked harsh questions sent from anonymous viewers, such as, 'Why did you leave your country, was it really that bad?' These type of questions that would be considered unacceptable to ask normally, were asked to the refugees.

The clip was both educating and provided us with a different insight towards refugees and ourselves. The brutally honest show helped remove prejudice towards refugees. Many of the answers given on the show described Australians as 'racist' and hateful towards refugees. These responses caused many of us to reflect upon our own opinions on refugees and those we were exposed to.

The clip also shared many personal anecdotes which described the barren and bleak conditions experienced by many refugees prior to their admission into Australia. These stories were a major shock to us all, particularly when we compared these scenarios to our own privileged lives.

United Nations Youth Group Session
By Griffin Williamson and Damien Schroder

Model UNWe were exposed to several interesting experiences and activities during the Worn Soles week. One of these was an interactive activity in our tutor groups which was mediated by ANU student members of the UN Society. During this activity, we discussed various human rights issues including rights of immigrants. We participated in two activities, the first designed to inform us of and provoke thought about the different types of refugees and the second, where we experienced what it is like for governments to make the kinds of decisions that affect refugees. This activity led on to discussions about the ethics of these situations and the circumstances that caused refugees to migrate. Both activities were designed to encourage debate within our tutor groups about the refugee crisis, which they certainly did. We learnt a lot from this experience, and had many engaging debates.

The final service
By Vincent Guo and Alexandra Jarratt

Prior to the long-awaited holidays, our final Term 2 lunchtime consisted of sizzling sausages (not of Bunnings quality) and conversations with our peers about the exciting week. It gave us a suitable environment to exchange our views and highlights of the week.

At the end of the lunch, we all piled into the Chapel and witnessed each tutor groups' interpretations of the lessons learnt. The students were allocated a form of expression for us to represent our new experiences and knowledge in the final Chapel service. These expressions ranged from huge banners to dramatic acts as well as insightful presentations delivered by both chaplains and students.

This week, although tiring, presented us with new knowledge that helped us into becoming more empathetic, not sympathetic. We were provided with a different window to look into the difficult lives of refugees and asylum seekers. A very big thank you to all the organisers, especially Mr Mordike, Mrs Steven and Mrs Notley.

Overall reflection
By Carol Ge and Laura Cameron

Worn Soles gave us an insight into the experiences of refugees, but it still wasn't as realistic as what refugees go through on a daily basis. We engaged and learned more in the practical side of the week when we were engaging in activities. The first day was unexpected, and even though we didn't do much, we still took away a lot from it. We learnt about refugee statistics, which were shocking, but gave us some perspective, and a lot of sympathy for refugees. The workbook activities showed us what kind of decisions refugees have to make on the spot. The talks we listened to were interactive and eye-opening. The SIEV X memorial we went to reflected the statistics we learnt about and the conditions of the refugees. We also learnt about the organisations that work to improve the situation and quality of life for refugees. It was astonishing to learn about how small things can affect a wide range of people in a big way. At the end, everything came together, and we learnt a lot over the whole experience. Everyone left with a clear view on the lives and experiences of refugees. The whole experience made us want to get involved and help refugees.

Worn Soles 2017

Worn Soles: fostering empathic Year 9s

7 August 2017

By Kath Notley, Head of Year 9 and Round Square Representative

Discovering new ways to work, love and be

By Dylan Mordike, Head of Co-curricular

Year 9 embraced the Worn Soles unit conducted during the last week of Term 2. The unit is designed to develop empathy and compassion through focusing on the experience of refugees. Empathy is developed through learning, conversation and experience, and Worn Soles embraced each of these modes.

The week began with a refugee camp experience, a key part of the Worn Soles unit. Students experienced a taste of many of the common elements of being a refugee – from the initial escape, journey and border crossing, to relocation and coping with life in a refugee camp. The power of experiential learning allows students to experience how others live and, thereby, more fully understand what they have gone through.

The inspiring week continued with guest speakers, personal research and reflection, visits to the SIEV X memorial, taking part in a model United Nations session, and culminated with a moving service held in the Chapel, where students shared their reflections and learning from the week.

Most commonly in the school context, students learn about other people and their beliefs, lives and cultures from books, films, photos, artworks and online sources of information. Worn Soles takes this further, facilitating opportunities for conversations with guest speakers who have been refugees to Australia. These profound and personal encounters went beyond superficial talk. At all stages, students were encouraged to reflect on what they thought and how they felt about what they had encountered and experienced.

The purpose of the Worn Soles unit is not solely to inform the students about refugees but also to foster their ability to empathise with others, in the hope that they can transfer this ability to other aspects of their lives. Greater empathetic understanding can lead to three essentials in life: recognising and appreciating individuals as something more than a faceless ‘other’; responding with compassion and taking action on others’ behalf; and large-scale social change. Other benefits of developing empathy include bringing unexpected insights and inspiration to our own lives and expanding our curiosity, creativity and possibilities. We may discover new ways to work, love and be that we have not previously considered, and challenge our prejudices and assumptions.

The thoughtful learning, deep conversation and lived experiences of the Worn Soles program contributes to the capacity of Year 9s to feel and express empathy. This process of development, which enriches their lives and the lives of others, continues through the community service and Service Learning that students undertake throughout Years 9, 10, 11 and 12.

Students reflections on Worn Soles week are included in this week's Bulletin.

OEG Youth Adventure Challenge

Youth Adventure Challenge with OEG

21 July 2017

Lizzy Pugh, Head of Outdoor Education

Four teammates. Three days. One outstanding event

By Lizzy Pugh, Head of Outdoor Education

Youth Adventure Challenge (YAC) is an exhilarating team adventure race that aims to bring out the best in you and your teammates.

Work together to solve problems, climb high, ride hard and run like you're Forrest Gump.

All you need is yourself and three teammates, a willingness to learn, an adventurous spirit and a thirst for victory.

YAC is open to students in Year 9–11. The adventure takes place in Rubicon Valley, Victoria on 6–8 October and Radford will compete against teams from across New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria. Teams will need to do some creative fundraising to get there.

The Youth Adventure Challenge offers $$ and prizes for the winning team … and some serious glory for yourself and Radford. Participation also satisfies the sporting component of The Duke of Edinburgh Award.


Contact Lizzy Pugh if you are interested.


Canberra's biggest bookfair - for a great cause!

Lifeline Bookfair

9 August 2017

Find a treasure at Canberra's biggest book fair this weekend

Lose yourself at Canberra's biggest Bookfair!

Friday 8 September9am - 6pm
Saturday 9 September  9am - 5pm
Sunday 10 September10am 4 pm
WHERE (map)

Exhibition Park in Canberra
Flemington Road, Mitchell ACT 2911
Entry via the Coorong Pavilion (follow the signs)

We have a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books, including rare books and collectables, children's books, textbooks and foreign language books. You'll also find magazines and pamphlets, sheet music, comics, maps and atlases, talking books, records and CDs, DVDs, games and jigsaws and more.

Entry is by gold coin donation. All proceeds go directly to our 13 11 14 crisis support and suicide prevention service... changing lives for the better.

  • You can pay for your purchases with cash, cheque, credit card (Mastercard or Visa) or EFTPOS.
  • Saturday is Family Day with fun activities for the kids!
  • Parking is free.

We are very excited to have Ray Martin AM and Allan Sparkes CV OAM attending the Bookfair on Saturday (9 September). Our special guests will be doing book readings throughout the day.

Stay tuned for more details!

We're proud to partner with Communities@Work to help support people experiencing hardship in our community. At each Bookfair, we run a food drive and ask patrons to bring along some non-perishable food to donate (click here for some ideas).

You'll see the donation bins at the entrance to the Bookfair. If everyone brings at least one item, we can make a huge difference!



JS Music Recitals

Yrs 1–4 Piano Recital – Term 3, Week 6, 23 August. FORM DUE 18 August (end Week 5). FORM ON ROL

Sports Announcements

Summer Basketball Trials

Click for 2017-18 Season Trial Dates

All students interested in playing Basketball will need to attend trials, or email Dianne.Wilson@radford.act.edu.au if they are unable to attend. Failure to do so may jeopardise your spot in a team. 

Cricket Pre-Season Academy - places still available!

See flyer for full details. Enquiries: e-mail Brent Larkham (Head of Sport) or phone 02 6181 1090.

Parents & Friends Association

Support the P&F through Entertainment Books purchase

Check out the great offers available in the Entertainment Book. $12 from each purchase goes to the P&F to support College projects. 

Contact: Radford Entertainment Books Convenor Alison Wilson
alison.radfordent@yahoo.com.au or mobile 0401 705 468

Trivia Night 2017

Last chance to book Tickets - Friday 15th September from 6:30pm. NB: venue now TB Millar Hall.

School Sports ACT

SSACT Bulletin 28 June 2017

School Sport ACT (SSACT) is the peak body for School Sport delivery in the ACT.

SSACT actively promotes school sport for all ACT students through the support of regional, state and national representative opportunities and pathways.

View the latest SSACT Bulletin.

Radford Parents Prayer Group

Rappers (Radford Parents who Pray) gathering

Rappers will be hosting a wine and cheese evening on Thursday 17 August, at the Stirzakers' home, st 3 Mulga St O'Connor, from 7.30 pm.  All are welcome. For more information, or to confirm your attendance, please contact Mary Stirzaker on 0419625513.


APFACTS - Newsletter 8 August 2017

A #parentech screening of Screenagers & special Q+A.  If you missed the Radford Institute screening, here is another opportunity to see this film, a ‘must-see’ conversation starter for all parents and their teens.