Radford Bulletin Term 2, Week 8 – 20 June 2018

Staff Insights

Claire Melloy, Director of Student Development

From the Director of Student Development: meeting Steve Biddulph

20 June 2018

This week we heard the renowned author and psychologist speak on being human and the secrets of happy children.

In a world full of many voices that can sometimes sound like white noise, few voices continue to resonate over years, let alone decades. Steve Biddulph’s is one of these voices.

He speaks from 40 years experience in learning and teaching.

This week Steve spoke to Radford staff on ‘Being Human’ and to parents on ‘The Secrets of Happy Children’.

In his presentation to staff Steve spoke about the impact of his own experiences as a young migrant and of living with what then was known as Asperger’s Syndrome.

He reminded all of us of the importance of looking out for all students, particularly those ‘on the edge’ so they don’t  ‘drift away’.

When talking about ‘Being Human’, he asked staff to complete the sentence: A human being is …

Answers were rich and varied but common elements focused on humans being multi-dimensional and something worth valuing.

He talked to four elements. Body, emotion, intellect and spirit or,

  • Spirit (connection/harmony)
  • Intellect (thinking)
  • Emotion (feeling)
  • Body (doing)

Body being the foundation because when young people (or anyone) are in distress the most useful thing to do is to get them ‘back in their own body’. Ask ‘What’s happening in your body?’ not ‘How are you feeling?’ because often they can’t answer that. He went on to say that sometimes one’s body is a really good guide to knowing what to do. That when the brain is confused, the body knows what to do. 

Steve talked about paying attention to these four elements to see if they are ’lined up’. Is what we are doing, feeling, thinking and connecting with, heading in the same direction?

When one does this it often highlights for us where things aren’t lined up. Even simply noticing this can be helpful.

Steve’s presentation to parents was helpful, practical, encouraging and fun. He managed to entertain and inform through his use of humour (‘the further you get from Sydney the more sensible people become’) and practical advice.

Steve talked about children having different needs at different ages.

Babies are dependent so need parents to be dependable, warm and tender.

Two year olds are what he calls counter-dependent, they start to test boundaries and as a result this is the time to start saying ‘no’ to children. He refers to this stage as ‘relaxed struggle’, the aim being for parents to stay relaxed and for the child to struggle a bit. He emphasised the importance of two year olds experiencing struggle (not getting their own way). If they have always got their own way as a child they can still think that emotions control others as they grow older. They need to learn that they are not the centre of the universe.

Five to 12 year olds can often be relatively easy and compliant.

At the approximate age of 13 puberty strikes and with that comes massive re-wiring of the brain. Steve went on to say that adolescents often ‘go backwards’ at this age. They often go back to dependence. Teenagers need boundaries; i.e. giving them what they need. This often involves reading between the lines, or as Steve says ‘having to think in subtitles in order to translate what they are saying’. Often they want you to say ‘no’. To sort things out. Not to yell. The most important thing is to follow through.

He went on to talk about the two types of love that children need. When they are little, soft love, tender, patient, gentle.

From the age of two, firm love, being willing to give children boundaries and limitations for their own good.

He talked about parenting styles, highlighting two scales.  










Steve highlighted firm/strong and warm as the most desirable quadrant – that is backbone and heart. Because we want to raise children with backbone and heart.

How do parents increase warmth? By spending time with their children one on one, if possible. He made the point that ‘hurry is the enemy of love’.

Steve emphasised that being firm is not about punishment. It’s not about making children feel bad or scaring them. Being firm is about being serious, communicating and connecting.

Ultimately, the aim of parenting is to help our children grow from dependence to independence, to know that our children can make their own way in the world without us. To see our children fly.   

According to Steve Biddulph, 'we want to raise children with backbone and heart'.

According to Steve Biddulph, 'we want to raise children with backbone and heart'.

Chaplain Erin Tuineau

Chaplain’s reflection: self-compassion

18 June 2018

Erin Tuineau, Chaplain

We cannot begin to show compassion towards others if we do not first show it towards ourselves.

In these last few weeks of Term 2, I have been exploring the concept of ‘compassion’ with my Yr 9 RaVE class. 

In my preparation for these lessons, I came across some ideas about ‘self-compassion’. This caught my attention. Whenever we think of compassion, we nearly always think of it in terms of extending love, care and understanding to another human being and towards creation. With this in mind, the idea of self-compassion may seem to be at odds with what we think compassion should be about: doing what is best for the welfare of others, not ourselves. However, on further thought, I have come to the conclusion that we really cannot begin to show compassion towards others if we do not first show it towards ourselves. This is because we have a tendency as human beings to treat others the way we treat ourselves. If we are hard on ourselves, and expect nothing less than perfection from our efforts, than it is highly likely that we are not too good at accepting anything less than perfection from those around us. On the other hand, if we take the time to show some graciousness towards ourselves and our actions, then this seems to be automatically extended to others as well.

As a person of faith, I would have to say that self-compassion can only begin in prayer. So, perhaps the phrase ‘self-compassion’ is a little confusing, as compassion itself does not begin with us. Compassion begins with God, the One from whom all love originates and flows. As a way of connecting with the compassionate love of God, I was once told by a priest to imagine myself to be Mary, at the tomb, and have Jesus ask me, ‘Why are you weeping?’ (John 20:15). This may sound a bit strange but, when we place ourselves in Mary’s shoes, we find ourselves being listened to by Jesus. We also find ourselves being completely honest with him about what we are going through, and not afraid to share our deepest fears and longings. It is a vulnerable space to be in. And we find that we are accepted and embraced in this vulnerability by Jesus himself. This acceptance of Christ has the power to help us be far more understanding and gracious towards ourselves. With this self-acceptance comes a much greater capacity to embrace others for all of who they are, not just their ‘good bits’. We also find that we are more able to fully listen to others, which is really the beginning, if not the essence, of true compassion.

If imagining yourself to be Mary at the tomb is a little too much outside of your comfort zone, then sometimes simply reflecting on your life journey, with God, can help bring about that same sense of self-acceptance. It can be liberating to actually name and own what you have been through over the last year, or the last 10–20 years (depending on your life span). We so often just keep soldiering on in life, and rarely take the time to sit back and consider the effect that life has had on us. Strangely, it is this self-awareness that enables us to be alert to what other people are going through in their lives. I think this is because when we take the time to listen to the deepest part of who we are, we find a stillness there, and in that stillness we have the capacity to notice the deepest part of who others are. It is a bit like what Thomas Merton once said:

It is in deep solitude that I find the gentleness with which I can truly love others. The more solitary I am, the more affection I have for them. It is pure affection, and filled with reverence for the solitude of others. Solitude and silence teach me to love others for what they are, not for what they say.

It is this ‘gentleness’ that Merton speaks of that is lacking in our world. When we live in a society where God is not part of our vocabulary, and we very rarely acknowledge His/Her presence publicly, we inevitably end up thinking that we need to be god-like because we cannot accept our humanity. If we cannot accept our own humanity, then we will always struggle to accept the humanity of others. And this is when we treat each other harshly and with severe judgment. So, may we find the humility to face who we are, and discover this gentleness that can transform us and our world.

From strength to strength, Niraj Lal appears to have spent his entire life kicking goals.

H is for History #18: Niraj Lal

18 June 2018

Collegian, academic, scientist, family man, environmentalist, educator, presenter, musician ... Niraj Lal is undoubtedly an all-rounder.

By George Huitker, Director of Service Learning

Do stuff. Get stuck in. Have fun. — Niraj Lal

Niraj sharing his knowledge and passion with others.It is hard to know where to start when writing about Dr Niraj Lal (Class of 2001). Nij is a much-loved father and husband – a family man who just happens to have a soft spot for nanophotonics and photovoltaics. He is also immensely generous: he has been donating 3 per cent of his income to charity since the age of 24, and has donated twice the amount of blood in his body to the Red Cross – a habit that ‘first started at Radford’. He is an accomplished academic, scientist, environmentalist, educator, presenter and musician.

Within these fields he is a Cambridge PhD graduate and Gates Scholar, ABC presenter, Discovery Channel science expert (for Dr Karl), a children’s book author, journal writer (including for an intriguing BBC online publication called The Naked Scientists), a travelling busker, founder of the Raio de Sol Canberra Community Samba Band, jazz enthusiast, primary-school science-show guru, digital activist against mass surveillance, radio presenter, TED-talker, passionate Greens member, Wikileaks supporter, solar enthusiast, cyclist, cricketer, surfer, former Radford School Captain and even a fine football player to boot – if you pardon the pun. When at Radford, Nij scored ‘The Goal’ which secured the premiership for the gifted Under 14 Division 1 side of 1998, which I happened to coach. This involved me simply pointing towards the field and saying, ‘Try to score more goals than the opposition’.

Niraj as a Radford student playing soccerSo where does one start to specifically highlight a person who appears to have spent his entire life kicking goals? I guess one can only really ask Nij what it was in his childhood that made him so interested and so annoyingly good at everything? He cheekily replied, ‘typical ethnic parents asking me where the other 5 per cent went if I scored 95 per cent on an exam. Also, their instilling in me a desire to make the world a better place – but I'm sure if my mum appreciated my finger-painting more when I was three, I'd be more chilled out today’. And while at school? In addition to a ‘deep respect and appreciation for Radford’s teachers who became our mentors’ like many older collegians, Niraj was a fan of Friday Activities: ‘If any Radford Executives are reading this – bring them back! In the age of Google, I reckon we can afford to skip two hours of classroom-content each fortnight to learn a new skill, sport, activity or discipline. Regularly trying a whole bunch of different activities gave us the confidence to give anything a go later on in life’.

Like Niraj, I am intrigued to learn more about new things and will ask for his opinion on ideas such as ‘Dipole-field-assisted Henry the Emu that Could Flycharge extraction in metal-perovskite-metal back-contact solar cells’ – his latest publication in the Nature Communications journal. That aside, I cannot help but gravitate towards Niraj's children’s stories for a similarly invigorating read. These books seem to utilise a selection of the many talents listed above. His first, Butterfly Flo and the Everything Effect is about a butterfly that learns about ‘The Butterfly Effect of Chaos Theory’ – the theory that a butterfly flapping its wings in Australia can cause a cyclone on the other side of the planet. In the follow-up, Henry the Emu That Could Fly, Niraj introduces his readers to ‘physical concepts around flight and the motion of satellites in orbit’. You gotta love a picture book that encapsulates Newton’s Theory. I personally cannot wait for the third in the trilogy. In fact, I think I will try these books out on my Year 1 Buddies (see H4H #7) on a free afternoon. Stayed tuned, kids.

Speaking about staying tuned, Nij is sparking curiosity as the host of a new ABC iView series called Sciencey. Nij explains the program’s aim is to present ‘science-by-stealth – with the ABC exploring new formats and styles for digital content. We gave it a crack to try answer some of the strangest questions in the universe’. These questions are answered in 5-minute grabs and are equal parts educational and entertaining.

Some of these include (click here to view the full list of episodes): 'How high can we build?', 'How does Niraj is a keen and accomplished musiciansunscreen work?', 'What's the loudest sound?', 'How do they predict the weather?',  'Why do earphones get tangled?', 'Are you addicted to your phone?',  'Will Australia have the last bees on earth?', 'Top 5 Things to know about Renewable Energy', 'Are we a Mass Extinction event?', 'How did Uluru form?', '5 things you need to know about climate change', and 'Can meditation make you healthier?’. I asked him which was his favourite episode and he replied, ‘I think the best ones we made were the ones on meditation and sunscreen. I think we got some science across that could both help people be healthy and learn about the body and mind and universe. The editors were sharp and made me come across as funny, which couldn’t have been easy’.

To conclude, I asked Nij to put icing on this article’s cake by entertainingly explaining to readers, in 25 words or less, and without scientific jargon, just what nanophotonics and photovoltaics actually are. His response: ‘Photovoltaics is the amazing ability to turn light energy into electricity. Nanophotonics is a refreshing drink made with small portions of Vietnamese soup’.

And he adds, with a glint in his eye, that he feels he has accomplished something in this life if only ‘any science communication I’ve done has made a little one look at the universe with awe and realise that we can learn more about it through creativity, evidence-based reasoning, and an open mind’.

I’ll go and read his books to my Year 1 Buddies. And get back to him with their reaction.

Hear Niraj read Henry the Emu

For prospective PHD Students, see Niraj’s 'Letter to students considering a PHD'

Listen to Niraj lead the funky beats of RAIO DE SOL - a Community Samba Band

And for light reading, see: Lal, N. et al.: Transparent Long Pass Filter with Short-Wavelength Scattering Based on Morpho Butterfly Nanostructures, ACS Photonics 4, 741, 2017

All past 'H for History' articles are housed at: https://radfordcollegians.com.au/h-for-history.

Niraj sharing his knowledge and passion with others.


Paul Southwell, Head of Junior School

JS News: 20 June 2018

20 June 2018

Sometimes there is never enough time or enough you, but as our community demonstrates, there are ways to challenge this.

Dates to remember
  • Wednesday, 20 June – Friday, 22 June – Year 5/6 Drama Performance The Twits
  • Thursday, 21 June – Kinder Airport Excursion
  • Monday, 25 June – Year 6 Bricks4kidz incursion
  • Wednesday, 27 June – JS Family Movie night
  • Thursday, 28 June – Years 1 and 2 World of Maths Incursion
  • Thursday, 28 June – Last day of Term 

I had a laugh last week as I was chatting with a potential family who have a 3-month-old child. I asked if they were getting any sleep. The response was an oldie but a goodie – ‘When we sneeze our eyes are closed!’ 

It reminded me that in today’s world where Avon is no longer calling on homes as nobody is home, there is never enough! There is never enough time or enough you.

One of the many things I truly love about our school is that as students, as staff and as parents we genuinely attempt to address this, we understand the challenges but also the priority. 

In looking back over the past week or so I am reminded how we continue to challenge ‘there is never enough’.

  • Our Year 3 Parent Liaisons scheduled a pot luck dinner and play in our new Undercroft late Saturday afternoon/evening. As I arrived to lock up I was greatly surprised to see the number of families who had taken up the opportunity on the coldest evening we have had.
  • All our year level and specialist level teaching teams have taken up the challenge of limiting the variations within our school, whilst best utilising the individual skills we have, and not increasing our load. All teams are working hard in this area but some examples are: the Year 4 team meets each morning prior to our school day for a stand-up sharing of how they will work together that day; Year 3 teachers are sharing their individual talents to all classes throughout their current Unit; Pre Kindergarten classes have created their own ELC Celebrations/Assemblies to introduce that aspect of our school culture; and all our teams meet our PYP Assistant Head each fortnight to share accountability. Our Year 6 students rotate through our ELC Celebrations and also control the K–6 Celebration – building leaders from within. There are many more examples, of course, but it’s all about our teams finding ‘time and you’.
  • We have closed the College Street entrance during the Junior School lunch break to better allow our students to cross between our campus sites safely. This amounts to more time and more sharing across year levels.
  • Our Director of Innovation and Technology joined with our Junior School Counsellor to present an evening on ‘Parenting in the Digital Age’. It was a wonderful presentation shared with families on a cold evening. Our Assistant Head of PYP joined our Years 7–12 Director of Assessment and Reporting at a parent forum evening giving feedback on where we are, and sharing where we are going.
  • Our staff continue to step beyond classrooms and co-curricular roles, including in the past weeks at AFL Day, Da Vinci Decathlon Thinking Team Challenge Day, Zone and ACT Cross Country (with our Athletics team to come) and this week with all our staff involved in our production of The Twits.

All this is happening while our semester reports and PYP Evaluation looms.

For us, we see, as John Adams quoted, ‘Two educations exist. One is to educate for a living and one for how we live’. 

I thank all our families and staff as we focus on the whole child.

Shout Outs

Congratulations to the following students, who received Shout Outs from teachers in our Celebration Assembly.

PKJH – Eric Zheng for being a thinker

PKAM – Lincoln Dalton for being balanced

PKDM – Naomi Wang for caring

PKMQ – Alexandra Cervek for being a thinker


KNS – Jonathan Alex for demonstrating curiosity and a love of learning

KAS – Mali Jaram for curiosity and bravery

KSG – Ziqiu Wang for showing kindness and respect

KCH – Charlie Crookes for commitment and perseverance


1MH – Sophie Linton for being an inquirer with a love of learning

1AT – Thomas Kendall for showing perseverance and commitment


2BF – Neharika Manne for being a humble, kind and independent learner

2JG – Hayley Skinner for showing a love of learning and independence


3DO – Ayva Chaloner for showing independence and enthusiasm

3PC – Matthew Maundrell for a showing honesty

3RB – Luca D’Ambrosio showing creativity and reflection

3EC – Saffron-Lilly Posch for showing bravery, perseverance and commitment


4OM – Lily Wickham for showing enthusiasm and humour

4JO – Joshua Alex for showing enthusiasm and a love of learning

4KP – Hayden Shepherd for showing commitment and perseverance

4CD – Alexander Wang for showing zest and being a thinker


5TEM – Iona Bright for being curious and knowledgeable

5SD –  Cameron Hewitson for being principled and showing a love of learning

5TMi – Jessi Palframan for showing perseverance and being a thinker

5JC – Bonnie Hardy for being a communicator


6TW – William Howarth for showing a love of learning and being a thinker

6JF – Lachlan Williams for respect and kindness

6HB – Kavya Mathur for kindness and integrity

6TH – Oliver Kulawiec for showing perseverance and enthusiasm


Ms Phelps – Zali Woollcombe for showing kindness and teamwork

Ms Wilson – Keren Zhang for being an inquirer and curious

Ms Suthers – Sophie Wilson for showing commitment and confidence

Engaging Adolescents workshops will run in June

Online parent program: evidence-based and free

18 June 2018

Therese Neill, Secondary School Counsellor

Missed out on the Engaging Adolescents workshop? This excellent online program may assist.

By Therese Neill, Secondary School Counsellor

The Engaging Adolescents workshop series is fully booked and underway. There was a lot of interest in the workshop series and some parents and carers sadly missed out. I plan to run the Engaging Adolescents workshop series again in either Term 3 or Term 4 and an announcement will be placed in the Bulletin in advance to allow parents and carers to register. 

For parents and carers who have not been able to attend or whose commitments do not facilitate attending workshops, I can recommend the online program ParentWorks. Developed by researchers at the University of Sydney, itis supported by the Movember Foundation. Information from the ParentWorks webpage can be found below. 

ParentWorks is a free online program for Australian parents and caregivers of children aged 2 to 16. It provides evidence-based parenting strategiesto improve parenting skills, confidence and child behaviour. 

Parents and caregivers may find this program helpful for: 

  • Managing challenging child behaviours such as tantrums, aggression, noncompliance, inattentive or hyperactive behaviour, sibling conflict, getting ready for school and/or bed, and behaviours outside the home, such as problems in the supermarket
  • Increasing their confidence in parenting
  • Working as a team with their partner
There will be music for all tastes at An Evening of Fine Music.

An Evening of Fine Music – tickets now available

12 June 2018

Kirsten Knight, Acting Head of Co-curricular Music

On Saturday, 23 June, some of our finest Year 12 musicians will perform in this wonderful annual concert.

By Kirsten Knight, Director of Strings and Acting Head of Co-curricular Music

On Saturday, 23 June, a selection of our finest Year 12 musicians will perform at our Evening of Fine Music concert. 

The night will feature Daniel Qin on violin, Vivienne Tran and Adam Davidson on piano, Domenico Pelle on drum kit, Jacqueline McIntyre on vocals, and Blake Reid on vocals and guitar, as well as their accompanying artists.

These excellent musicians will perform in a variety of styles and genres so there will be music to enjoy for all tastes.

Special guest artists on the evening will be two of Australia’s top string musicians, violinist Tør Fromyhr and cellist David Pereira.

We are lucky enough to have Tør Fromyhr as one of our violin/viola tutors at Radford and the duo will perform for us courtesy of the Australian National University’s School of Music prior to heading off on tour the next day.

Tickets for this exciting event are now available at https://www.trybooking.com/WFVO.

Ticket prices:

  • Adult: $25
  • Student: $15
  • Table of 7: $105

Each table will be supplied with a platter of delicious cheeses and nibbles, and wine is included in the adult ticket price. 

Bookings are open for July School Holiday Programs.

July OSHC and Sports Holiday Programs

13 June 2018

Choose from OSHC Holiday and Sports Department programs these school holidays.

Radford's Outside School Hours Care and the Sports Department have done it again. The July school holiday programs couldn't be more action packed and there's something to keep every busy bee, curious cat and action hero occupied and entertained. Bookings are open now!

Outside School Hours Care Winter Holiday Programs
Places are available in Early Years (PK–Y1) and Junior School (Y2–6) programs and, as usual, they will fill fast.

Excursions include (take a deep breath): gymnastics (JS/EY), George's Marvellous Medicine (JS), Incredibles 2 (JS), Flip Out (JS/EY), Hotel Transylvania (JS), Indoor Mini Golf (JS), Dinosaur Museum (EY), iPlay (JS/EY), bushwalk to the Big Hole (JS/EY), Corin Forest (JS/EY), Birrigai (JS), Let's Play Indoor Playground (EY), Mr Maker! (JS/EY), Inflatable World (JS/EY), Dr Hubble and his Bubbles (incursion) (JS/EY).

Book now!

Early Years Booking Form
Junior School Booking Form

Sports Winter Holiday Programs
Sports school holiday programs will run again in the July school holidays for students in Years 2 to 8.

Book in now and feel free to bring siblings or friends from another school! 

Friday, 29 June: 

  • PE Games & Multi-sport: 9 am – 5 pm – a single day of fun sport/PE games.

Cost: $70 charged to student account. 

Monday, 2 July – Friday, 6 July: 

  • PE Games & Multi-sport: 9 am – 5 pm
  • Basketball with Mr Orhan Memedovski: 9 am – 12 pm with option to join PE Games & Multi-sport program in the afternoon (finishing 5 pm)  

Cost (charged to student account): 
Full day (9 am – 5 pm) $70/day or $325/week
Half day (9 am – 12 pm) $50/day or $225/week 

Monday, 16 July – Friday, 20 July: 

  • Basketball with Mr Orhan Memedovski: 9 am – 12 pm 

Cost (charged to student account): 
Half day (9 am – 12 pm) $50/day or $225/week 

Bookings and enquiries: Dianne.Wilson@radford.act.edu.au 

Image credit: Fred Murray and Joy Youlden from the JC Williamson production of The Girl Friend, 1942 (2), SJ Hood, nla.gov.au/nla.obj-154433204/view

L'Arche Discos are a highlight of RAS

RAS charity fundraiser 2018

18 June 2018

Thank you to all donors. Our fundraising efforts have generated an incredible amount of money.

By Richard Browning, Chaplain

Money raised 



Junior School cash for chores

$805.00 (notes)

$3,881.50 (coins)

Cash Donations


Online Donations


Relay For Life (Cancer Council)


Shave For a Cure (Leukaemia Foundation)




This sum is impressive. The Senior School's effort is incredible. Effectively, they raised $50,000 on their own initiative. All of this goes to cancer-related work.

Funds raised by the remainder of the school – 1,350 students and hundreds of staff – leaves $11,981.50 to allocate to all our other areas. This is down on last year and means we are not able to be as generous as we have been in the past to some amazing organisations, locally, nationally and internationally. Some leftover funds from last year will help us fund what we have promised to our partners.  

Harrison Blake, Service Learning Captain, spoke recently at Assembly recently.

The RAS charity fundraiser has finished and we raised a lot of money. Our total was $61,890 which is incredible, so well done to everyone that donated. Special mention to the senior students who, between them, raised very close to $50,000 through World’s Greatest Shave and Relay for Life. We reached a Radford record for the money raised for World’s Greatest Shave, showing the incredible work people have done raising money.

Another special mention for the Junior School who for the first time have been doing meaningful chores around their house and bringing in their earnings for the fundraiser. This is something we wish to build on next year.

One event that was run under the RAS charity fundraiser banner was a Year 10 bike ride, in which students, and a couple of teachers, rode a bicycle in teams for four hours straight, dressed in costume. This was the first time it was run, and definitely looks to be something worth repeating next year.  

We raise as much as we can at one time, and then get stuck into the work of service. For those of you who didn’t donate this year, the money goes to some incredible organisations, we’d ask you to bounce back next year. In the meantime, there are a string of opportunities to get stuck into with service.

Year 11’s L’Arche disco is an example. Every Wednesday, Year 10s are doing amazing work with OzHarvest and turning rescued food into meals. The Year 8s are working hard on the Anglicare Winter appeal. Soon teams head to Gamilaraay country and Timor. Every Wednesday is RAID basketball in the gym. These are just a sample. We learn how to serve because it is in everyone’s best interests, including our own.

Thank you to everyone who was involved with the RAS charity fundraiser, whether it be talking with your folks at home, organising an event, supervising or just joining in, the fundraiser wouldn’t have been nearly as successful without people giving their time and effort. So to everyone who donated – thank you. The money we have raised is greatly appreciated by our partner organisations.

Note to donors: Thank you. You will be receiving your receipt from the recipient organisation in the coming weeks.

'The land seemed to respond to every question I had whilst at the memorial,' said one student.

Reflecting on the Myall Creek Massacre

20 June 2018

Holly Griggs, Year 10 student

Year 10 students gather with locals, 180 years on, to both mourn the past and look to the future.

'So many amazing thoughts and reflections came from this trip' to Myall Creek.

By Holly Griggs, Year 10 student

On Sunday, 10 June, 12 Year 10 students and three teachers walked and stood alongside 1,000 other Australians to commemorate the 180th anniversary of the Myall Creek Massacre. 

The day marked a significant event in our country's history, when 28 Aboriginal women, men – many elderly – and children were slaughtered by 12 white stockmen. Eventually, and for the first time in our history, seven of those men were brought to trial and executed. The day can be seen as one of mourning, but is also ultimately a celebration of Indigenous culture, change and growth since this day.

After two days of travelling over a thousand kilometres north and performing in the Bingara ‘Sounds of Country’ concert on the Saturday, we arrived early to the commemoration and were warmly greeted by locals and the kids of Tingha Public School, who we had met the night before when Welcomed to Country in Tingha. 

These 24 children were to perform in the ceremony and were just beaming with excitement about it. The kids themselves were a highlight for us all – the connections we formed with them in such a small amount of time were incredible, and they brought happiness to a lot of people on what is really quite a solemn day. 

Aunty Sue BlacklockWe then got to meet Aunty Sue Blacklock, who is the Elder (Leader) of the Aboriginal people in that area, and also a direct descendant of the survivors of the massacre. She is a woman with such pride in and hope for her people and culture that you cannot help but hold great respect for her. You can see the love she holds for our school and especially for Mr Huitker, largely because we return and continue to build bridges. Her gratitude to each of us for travelling there made so many of the hours in the buses worth it. 

After the greetings, the first of many speeches began, prior to the walk to the memorial site. There, hundreds of people gathered around the beginning of the path to listen to music, view dancing from different tribes from surrounding areas, and be officially Welcomed to Country. It was amazing to watch people of all ages gather together and celebrate their culture in a way so special to them and so visually spectacular. Along a red path shaped like a rainbow serpent, seven plaques are placed, telling the story of the massacre, before you reach the monument at the end of the walk. Radford students, along with representatives from the other schools present, were situated at each plaque to read a section of the Myall story to the crowds that passed. We read our parts many times and every time we did, the gratitude we received from people who had travelled even further than us was truly remarkable. This welcoming feeling and gratitude was what I took away the most from the trip.

Reflecting at the memorial siteThe walk concluded at the memorial site’s monument, which overlooks the Myall Creek plains where the event itself took place. This spot instantly asks you to reflect, not just on the event but perhaps life in general, especially after hearing speeches from Aunty Sue and even a descendant of one of the white stockman. We then returned to Myall Creek Station, where we learnt that our Radford Year 1 artists and Maxine Kerruish (Year 10) respectively won and were highly commended in the annual ‘Hopes and Dreams’ competition based on the theme ‘180 Years on and what have we learnt?’

As we snuck away in the later afternoon many thoughts and feelings started to settle among the Radford students. These sparked the question of what would be different if the shoe was on the other foot. The gratitude felt by the Indigenous community for coming and slowly but surely helping our country become a better place was inspiring, and it showed us how easy it is to challenge and change our own behaviours and assumptions about things … and just talk. We learnt that talking solves so many issues and when done openly, so much can be changed and fixed. But we also learnt the equal importance of silence, of how it can also hold so much, and that we don’t need to fill every moment with conversation – when you decide to shut up and listen to what other people have to say, you can learn a great deal. 

For me, this trip has changed a lot inside myself: how I now choose to view life and how we progress from here. I was not 'So many amazing thoughts and reflections came from this trip' to Myall Creek.expecting to form a connection and feeling with the land at the memorial site like I did, and was not expecting to have as much desire to go back as I do right now. Amazing things can happen when you open up, and in the wise words of Mr Huitker: don’t let the sadness of this story and our past drag you down; choose to accept it and to grow. So many amazing thoughts and reflections came from this trip and it is hard for me to summarise everyone's highlights, so below are some brief extracts from some of my peers’ reflections.

I would also like to take this opportunity on behalf of the whole Myall 3 Group to thank Mr Huitker, Mr Mordike and Mrs Markovic, for it would have been impossible to attend this service without them. The amount of hours spent driving while the students got to kick back and sleep is greatly appreciated. They were all great fun and we thank them again for making the experience have such impact on us. Also, another thank you to all the people who hosted us at Green Valley Farm and at the Warrumbungles Mountain Hotel, and to Somerset College students and staff for accompanying us this year.

Meeting Aunty Sue was like meeting a living saint. The way the children looked up to her and the upmost respect that was held for her made me feel just lucky to be in her presence. I got to converse with her and the way she instantly accepted me made it seem like I was a part of the tribe.


During the service I was forced to ponder the possibilities of fate: if the shoe was on the other foot and the settlers were the ones killed and treated like animals. Would I have been as loving, compassionate and forgiving as the Aboriginals? 


In the past I have read about Myall Creek. But I wasn’t prepared for how much I would be affected by the stories that I could hear in the emptiness and silence at the rock by the creek. The land seemed to respond to every question I had whilst at the memorial … 


I fell in love with every part of the people who lived there. Their culture, people and the land on which they live. The hard part about leaving, as Mr H says, is what will we be returning home to compared to the kids I played chase with? That is the heartbreaking reality I reflect on now: that I am given so much opportunity and until now haven’t acted on any of it. Dr Geoff Langford told me not to dwell on the privileges I have and just use them and help others. This is advice I must follow after this journey, so that one day the Tingha children’s children will have the same chance as what my children will be offered.


I felt mixed emotions during the ceremony. I felt sad for all the people who died in the massacre and angry about the ignorance of the white population. However, ultimately I felt happy looking at the crowds of people from all over the nation and from all walks of life reconciling an event that happened 180 years ago.


The faces of the young kids that danced at the memorial service have stuck with me … I had an overwhelming sense to just help them. I’m not sure how to help but from my understanding my time is the most valuable thing I can give up, and that is what I intend to do in the future.


Aunty Sue’s love and forgiveness is so humbling. I look up to her and struggle to find words that adequately describe my admiration for her. ‘Listen to the birds …’

The Y10 students in Myall Creek

'Why do dancers' arms stay by their side?' - Just one of the questions asked while having fun learning Irish dancing moves.

Year 1 explores dances from around the world

18 June 2018

Melinda Hamilton, Junior School Teacher

Students learn how dance and movement, from ballet to Indian Bollywood dancing, can help people communicate.

By Melinda Hamilton, Junior School Teacher

Year 1 have been inquiring into ‘How We Express Ourselves’ and have had a particular focus on exploring the way dance and movement allow people to communicate ideas and feelings.

The students have been very fortunate, enjoying many visits from guest speakers who have shared dances with them from all around the world. 

Some of the amazing experiences so far have been:

  • Ballet with Soraya Sullivan
  • Korean Fan Dance with Inja (Sophie Linton’s mum)
  • Indian Bollywood Dancing with Sapna (Venya’s mum)
  • Scottish Highland Dancing with Jean (Elijah’s mum)

On Monday, Year 1 students were fortunate to have a visit from Clare Bowman and Kathleen Beattie who run the Beattie Bowman Irish Dancing School.

Clare is a Radford Collegian and Irish dancing champion. She was very happy to teach our students about Irish dancing. Clare was able to demonstrate the dance of St Patrick and then teach our students some dance moves.

Year 1 thoroughly enjoyed the experience and asked insightful questions such as ‘Why is the dance called St Patrick?’, ‘Why do the dancers' arms stay by their side?’ and ‘How do you stop from getting so sweaty?’

We appreciate the contributions of all our guests who have helped us to express ourselves.

Cornerstone Donors (from left) Richard Kenyon, Marcus Graham, Malcolm Lamb, Donna Driver and Colin Stewart

Radford Foundation 2018 Appeal

13 June 2018

Cornerstone Donors help launch appeal

The Radford Foundation has launched its 2018 appeal for donations.

Appropriately, the campaign was launched at the construction site of the new Secondary School commons building. Cornerstone Donors Richard Kenyon, Marcus Graham, Malcolm Lamb, Donna Driver and Colin Stewart, who made generous donations to the Foundation in its first year, were impressed with progress of the work. 

Donations of any amount are welcomed by the Radford Foundation. Those wishing to be acknowledged as a Cornerstone Donor can do so by contributing $1,000 or more by the end of 2018, at which time the Cornerstone category will be closed.

Inquiries about your proposed donation can be directed to foundation@radford.act.edu.au

The Foundation operates three funds: a Scholarship Fund, a Major Projects Fund and a General Fund. 

The Foundation Directors were honoured recently to award their first full two-year scholarship to a new student commencing Year 11 in 2019. The terms of the Scholarship recognise a student who demonstrates outstanding achievement and community involvement but whose personal financial circumstances prevent them from enrolling at the College.

The Foundation is delighted to announce three classes of donation, to take effect from 2019:
Bronze – one-off donation of $5,000 or a pledge of $1,000 per year for five years
Silver – one-off donation of $10,000 or a pledge of $2,000 per year for five years
Gold – one-off donation of $25,000 or a pledge of $5,000 per year for five years

Perpetual recognition of Cornerstone and substantial donors is under consideration and The Foundation Directors will announce their plan for this in the near future.

Read more about our Cornerstone Donors - in their own words

There were smiles all round as our snowsports team revelled in the great conditions on their first day on the snow.

Sports Report: 20 June 2018

18 June 2018

Diane Wilson, Sports Admin Assistant

A top start to the snowsports season, tkd students complete a grading, Radford orienteers selected for championships, and more.

Brad Dempster, football refereeFootball

By Diane Wilson, Sports Administration Assistant

On Sunday, 29 July, Capital Football will run a Level 4 Football (Soccer) Refereeing course from 9.30 am – 3.00 pm in the Radford Sports Centre. 

This entry-level course will allow you to referee U8s through to adults.

Radford will cover the cost of the course and registration, as well as half the uniform and equipment cost (approximately $60). 

The course is open to parents and students aged 13 years and older. 

Refereeing is a great way to earn pocket money and develop life skills.

To register please email Dianne.Wilson@radford.act.edu.au



By Jonathan Mandl, Parent Coordinator

Radford Snowsports officially launched its 2018 season of training, development and preparation for Interschools competition with the team's first day on snow on Sunday.

With no shortage of fresh snow falling through our annual training and assessment day, and with new members of the team to be welcomed, there were smiles all round as everyone revelled in the great conditions. Skiers and snowboarders made the most of the day out with our friendly and dedicated Perisher Instructor Group leading the way.

Radford Snowsports proudly turns 25 this year, a significant milestone marking many years of producing consistently competitive athletes and teams representing Radford College at the highest levels. 

Sophie's instructor group, PerisherAlumni include Olympian cross-country skier Katherine Calder and over a dozen International FIS racers in snowboard and skiing disciplines who have represented Australia in Canada, North America and European events throughout the last decade. 

Additionally, six former team members (two girls and four boys) have recently become SSA accredited as Instructors at Thredbo and Perisher to share their love of learning. This includes Shauna Rigby who captained our girls’ team in 2011, instructed our teams for two years after Year 12 graduation and progressed to Instructor Level 4 at the top of her profession. Shauna is currently based at the nearby resort of Thredbo.

With our 25th winter looking promising on all fronts with strong talent, great friendships, constant opportunities for social development, technical skills progression plus ACT and National representative racing ahead of us, the future is very bright for the team!

Rosie Waddell-Wood, orienteerOrienteering

By Toni Brown, Parent Coordinator

Eight Radford students have been selected for the 20-person squad to represent the ACT at the Australian Schools Championships. These championships will take place in South Australia in September/October.

  • Junior Girls 15 years and under: Justine Hobson
  • Junior Boys 15 years and under: Toby Lang, David Stocks, Joseph Wilson, Patrick Shelton Agar (reserve)
  • Senior Boys 16 years and over: Noah Poland, Andrew Kerr, Ryan Stocks (reserve)

 Orienteering Saturday Metro League Report

Radford orienteering continues to show strong and consistent form as demonstrated at Saturday’s Metro League on Black Mountain on the weekend.

The Men’s junior top positions (1–4 in O1 and 1–2 in O2) were held by Radford students (David Stocks, Andrew Kerr, Ryan Stocks, Toby Lang, Brendan Wilson and Michael Guthrie).

It is promising to see so many of our younger orienteers who are new to the sport stepping up a grade and completing the Orange level courses – even in those very cold conditions on Saturday.


By Pravin Bhatia, Taekwondo instructor

We recently undertook Taekwondo grading for Sangrok Taekwondo with students from Mitchell Training Studio and Radford students participating.

Well done to all.

Registrations for Term 3 Taekwondo will open at the end of this week.

Please read the information on the registration form carefully as the sessions will now be offered in the mornings before school and are grouped more suitably in ages.

Queries can be directed to Sharon at Sharon.Siciliano@radford.act.edu.au.

Congratulations to our students who completed their grading


Isla Murphy, Cross Country runnerACT Cross Country

By Diane Wilson, Sports Administration Assistant

Thirty-two students represented Radford at the ACT Cross
Country carnival on Wednesday, 13 June.

Well done to all! Radford is very proud of your efforts.

Results are to come. 


This week's rugby scores:

  • Girls Rugby – Radford 45 defeated Royals 34
  • Boys Rugby – Radford 55 defeated Uni Norths 22
Q. Where is the Hagia Sophia?

P&F Trivia Night 2018

20 June 2018

Q. Where is the Hagia Sophia?

If you look forward to medical appointments as an opportunity to scour the pages of Who magazine, Readers Digest or National Geographic, then the 2018 P&F Trivia night is your once-a-year opportunity to shine. Bring your general knowledge of global politics, your obscure facts about anatomy, your surprising repertoire of glamour rock lyrics and show us your inner polymath. Great prizes and lots of fun.

Organise a table of 8–10 friends and get creative to win a prize for best table theme or team uniform.

Individuals are welcome to purchase tickets and be placed on a table.

When: 6.30–9.30 pm, Friday 21 September

Where: TB Millar Hall

Tickets: $10 per head. Book online at TryBooking.

A. Istanbul, Turkey

Keep up with all of the P&F news on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/792423231148201/ 
or on Instagram @radfordcollegepf 



CTA_Uniform Shop

Holiday hours for our two uniform shops

20 June 2018

New and second-hand shops' trading hours

P&F Uniform Shop (second-hand uniforms)

NB: The Second-hand Uniform Shop will be closed for renovations on Friday 29 June and for the first two weeks of the holidays. The shop will reopen on Wednesday, 18 July (Week 3 of the holidays) for its standard trading hours.

Friday 29 June – closed

Wednesday 4 July – closed

Thursday 5 July – closed

Friday 6 July – closed

Wednesday 11 July – closed

Thursday 12 July – closed

Friday 13 July – closed

Wednesday 18 July – open 7.30–9.30 am

Thursday 19 July – open 2–6 pm

Friday 20 July – open 8 am – 12 pm

The shop will resume standard hours of operation during Term 3.

Standard hours of operation are:

Wednesday 7.30–9.30 am

Thursday 2–6 pm

Friday 8 am–12 pm (closed Public Holidays) 

Email (preferred): 


Phone: +61 2 6180 1087

Perm-A-Pleat Uniform Shop (new uniforms)

Please be advised that it is no longer possible to have new uniform items added to student accounts.

NB: The new Uniform Shop will be closed for the first two weeks of the holidays. The shop will reopen on Monday, 16 July (Week 3 of the holidays). The shop will resume standard trading hours on 23 July.

2 to 13 July – closed

16 July – open 7.45 am–1.45 pm

17 July – open 11.30 am–5.30 pm

18 July – open 8.00 am–2.30 pm

19 July – open 11.30 am–5.30 pm

20 July – open 7.45am–1.45 pm

The shop will resume standard hours of operation during Term 3.

Standard hours of operation are:

Monday – 7.45 am–12.45 pm

Tuesday – 12.30–5.30 pm

Wednesday – 8.00 am–1.30 pm

Thursday – 12.30–5.30 pm

Friday – 7.45 am–12.45 pm

Email enquiries:


Phone +61 2 6180 1088 

Dirrum 2018 organisers (from left) Isla Baird, Annie Creer, Lydia Murray, Hugo Webster and Niamh Martin

Dirrum Festival 2018 – 'Be challenged'

20 June 2018

Save the date – 18 August – for inspirational speakers, market stalls, food, music and dancing

By Communications Manager Mick Bunworth

The hardworking student organisers of the 2018 Dirrum Festival have put together a fantastic event on the theme ‘for the common good’, exploring two exciting elements to be explored 'Truth-telling and Power' and 'Shared Sustainable Prosperity. This year's festival will run from 1–9 pm on SATURDAY 18 AUGUST 2018. The organisers are excited to announce a program of compelling speakers, including:

Peter Greste
Gillian Triggs
Emma Adams
Kirsty Windeyer
Matthew Stocks
Ellen Jacobsen
Steph Gabriel

Preliminary event: Dirrum Dirrum, in conjunction with the Radford Institute, presents Tim Costello on 'Education: Our powerful weapon to change the world' at 6.30 pm on WEDNESDAY 8 AUGUST. This free event is a relevant introduction to the Dirrum Festival, which takes place 10 days later. 

Dirrum boasts a true festival atmosphere and a mini-market of local business – Base Soaps (handmade soap), The Biltong Company (beef jerky), The Hungry Brown Cow (brownie sandwiches) and Tusk Books (local author) – will operate stalls in the one-hour lunch break between speaker sessions.

There will also be fashion stalls, all with ethically-sourced materials (OceanZen, HoMie and Ur Sain); live music and dancing by local artists; hot food and Timor coffee.

One of the organisers, Annie Creer, was in the audience of her first Dirrum festival four years ago.

Now she is on the organising committee, which also includes Isla Baird, Lydia Murray, Hugo Webster and Niamh Martin (plus many more capable students).

Annie says: 'Dirrum is not a lecture, a sermon or a monologue but a way in which you can learn and be inspired by the values and actions of others. So come and be overwhelmed. Come and be challenged. Come and learn that the world is much bigger than you thought.'

Read a full transcript of Annie's address to a recent student assembly here.

And, for those thinking Dirrum Dirrum is just a well-meaning talk fest, think again.

Students are working on personal Dirrum Challenges to change one thing about the world.

We plan to follow these stories in the Radford Bulletin in the lead-up to the festival.

What action will Dirrum Dirrum 2018 inspire?

Keep reading the Bulletin and be quick to buy your ticket when they go on sale. Last year's festival sold out.



Taekwondo registrations – Term 3

Registrations for Term 3 Taekwondo will open at the end of this week.

Please read the information on the registration page carefully as the sessions will now be offered in the mornings before school and are grouped more suitably in ages.

Queries can be directed to Sharon at Sharon.Siciliano@radford.act.edu.au.