2022 Term 4 Week 6   |   16.11.2022

TAS Talks Term 4 Week 6

01. From the Principal


A community celebration service and dinner was held at the end of last week for Reverend Richard Newton who leaves TAS at the end of the year after 17 years as the School’s Chaplain. He will take up a position at Thomas Hassall Anglican College and although he is still with us for a few more weeks it seems fitting now to reflect on his time as Chaplain at TAS.

Richard came to Armidale and TAS in 2005 with his wife Sonya and children Amelia, Hamish and Isabel and he leaves with additions to his family, Alastair, Edwina and Rupert.

Reflections from past students tell of a faithful, fun and friendly teacher who provided programs to nurture them through their Christian journey with regular Chapel services, Breaky and Bible, GAS (God and stuff), Bible Club, Boarders’ Chapel, KYCK (Service in Sydney and Katoomba Youth Christian Convention) Mountain Bike Camps, and Christian service projects in Thailand and Fiji.

Over the years some of our students have had the opportunity to travel with ‘Rev’ annual Christian service trips to Agape, a home for HIV positive orphans and St Christopher’s Orphanage in Fiji. The former holds a special place in his heart and in 2017 he took six months to travel with his family to Agape to develop a new English language program that now offers so much hope to the young people there. His commitment to this incredible work is another fine example that he has set for our students and in 2018 Richard was awarded the Premier’s Volunteer Recognition Award for his Thailand Service.

The role of Chaplain is very much a community one and Richard has been a wonderful source of support and hope to so many students, staff, families and Old Armidalians over the years through both incredibly hard times and through celebration. I also thank him personally for his support of me through short time where our tenures have overlapped.

As a school we will farewell Richard throughout the final events this term, and as a community we wish Richard and his family all the very best for the new opportunities that lie ahead of them and we thank Richard for his faithful service to TAS.

In other staffing news, Alasdair Hey will also farewell TAS at the year to pursue his passion for flying. Alasdair started at TAS in 2016 as a Science teacher and was then appointed as Science Co-ordinator in 2018.

In 2017 Alasdair was recognised for his love for Science with a Fellowship from The Royal Australian Chemical Institute, acknowledging three decades in education as a teacher, author, HSC marker and mentor. Alasdair has encouraged and inspired so many students in Science during his time at TAS and also contributed greatly to the Cadet program and a range of co-curricular pursuits including Shooting. His enthusiasm for every facet of science will be greatly missed by students and staff alike and we wish him well on his next adventure.

Emily Griffiths from the Development Office will also leave at the end of the year for new opportunities at the University of New England. Emily has been a part of the Enrolments/Development team since 2019. Many of you will remember Emily as your tour guide around the school at your child’s enrolment interview. Her passion, expertise, and experience will be missed and we wish her well.



Dr Rachel Horton

02. From the Deputy Principal


Cadet Commander Johnathan Woodbridge organised a wonderful Remembrance Day service last Friday that highlighted the ongoing personal connection we as a School have with Remembrance Day and service. This was aptly highlighted by Ali Nivision and Nina Taylor speaking about their Old Armidalian relatives who served in World War 1. The service was student run and I commend our House and School leaders for the roles they played in making it a success. The Prefects and Student Representative council (SRC) also sold 600 poppies in the lead-up to Remembrance Day, raising over $600 for SoldierOn.

James Pennington coordinated our final challenge event last Friday evening with over 200 students, 14 parents and a large contingent of staff ‘walking a mile in another man’s wheels’. It was wonderful that former Wallaby and OA Richard Tombs was able to be present to witness such a deep empathy-building exercise take place with all involved developing a much deeper appreciation for the challenges associated with life in a wheelchair.  

The process of selecting our 2023 Student Representative Council is underway with students currently in years 8-10 asked to apply last week. In 2023 the SRC meetings will be chaired by the Senior Prefects and have two representatives in Years 9-11, four Junior School students and  the incoming Middle School Captains. The SRC positions will be announced in our final assembly in Week 9.

I wish all students the best as they head off for BIVOUAC tomorrow and Friday. This will undoubtedly present an excellent lead-in to Activities Week as our focus shifts to challenging the students outside of the classroom. 


Mr Ray Pearson
Deputy Principal


03. Calendar of Events


Week 6
Wednesday 16 NovemberTAS Foundation Board Meeting
Thursday 17 NovemberBivouac
Friday 18 NovemberBivouac
Saturday 19 NovemberYear 10 Dinner
Week 7
Monday 21 NovemberJunior and Middle School Orientation Morning
Tuesday 22 NovemberTwilight Concert (5.30 pm) Hoskins Centre
Wednesday 23 NovemberP&F Meeting (7 pm)
Friday 25 NovemberJunior School Bike Safety Day  & Triathlon
Year 5 Valedictory Dinner
Saturday 26 NovemberActivities Week – A&B Company depart for Activities
Sunday 27 NovemberActivities Week – C Company depart for Activities



04. From the P&F


Christmas Puddings

The TAS Christmas Puddings have been cooked and are already being collected. Don’t miss out on your 2022 pudding.   Place orders and pay for your pudding purchase through this link TAS P&F Christmas Pudding

P&F Meeting Next Week

P&F will meet Wednesday 23 November at 7.00 pm. We will be face to face in Upper Maxwell as well as have a Zoom session running for those wishing to attend remotely.
Zoom details below.  All are welcome.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 215 517 2798
Password: parents

Contact the P&F Executive

If you have anything you would like to raise with the P&F Executive, please send us an email at pandf@as.edu.au


Mr Paul Gaddes
P&F President




05. From the Director of Teaching and Learning


It has been a busy week with Stage 3, 4 and 5 subjects assessing their students across non-core areas. Many projects, speeches, research tasks and tests have been completed to enable our Year 6 – 10 students to demonstrate their learning across a range of subjects and in various modes. Congratulations to all students for managing this busy time so well and thank you to the teaching staff who are marking, commenting, and reporting on these important summative assessments.

Now that Year 11 has firmly moved into the HSC courses we are seeing the volume of work increasing and there are several first formal assessment tasks in the coming weeks for these students. I wish them the best with these upcoming tasks and encourage them to prepare well and do their best to access the strongest results possible in this first assessment task. A reminder that the 2023 Stage 6 Assessment Schedule can be found on the Parent and Student Portals of the website.


Mrs Gill Downes
Director of Teaching and Learning

06. From the Director of Boarding


A wholehearted congratulations to the Senior House Leaders, Prefects, Deputy Senior Prefects and Senior Prefects who were inducted into their roles at the Induction Ceremony last Tuesday 8 November. A special mention to Frederick Kearney and Sofia Paris who will lead the school admirably as Senior Prefects in 2023. This Induction Ceremony is a special occasion on the school calendar, and I always enjoy seeing the boarders well represented amongst the school leadership group. The Senior Heads of House and I are looking forward to working with all the boarding leaders for the remainder of Term 4 and throughout 2023.

The TAS Food Committee, which comprises representatives from each of the six boarding houses, will meet for the first time this term during Week 7. This Committee plays a crucial role in ensuring the needs and wants of the boarders are balanced within the food budget and that ample nutritious food offerings are available to all our boarders across all meals seven days a week. I am looking forward to the input from the boarders attending this meeting.

Having the boarders attend Boarders Chapel in the School Chapel last Wednesday evening was well received by all the boarders and staff in attendance. Prue Black deserves special mention for her music contributions and all boarders are to be congratulated on the way they conducted themselves. The plan is to continue with Boarders Chapel in the School Chapel for the remainder of term with a special service planned for Week 7 where the boarding community will appropriately farewell Reverend Richard Newton.


David Drain
Director of Boarding

07. From the Director of Pastoral Care


Vaping - A Guide for Parents

Please follow the link below to access a podcast by Paul Dillon, Director and Founder of DARTS (Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia).


Paul has a selection of podcasts where he talks about all things relating to drugs and alcohol. It is a fantastic resource for parent to further their knowledge in this area.

Mr Adam (AJ) Whalley
Director of Pastoral Care

08. From the Director of Co-curricular


This week marks the continuation of 2022 Activities Program with Bivouac taking place on Thursday and Friday. A great chance for students to test themselves in the great outdoors. We wish our students well as they undertake a range of skills in the Year 6/7 program, Cadets and the diverse Year 11 program, in which students have the option of continuing with Cadets or being involved in Rural Fire Service, Service or Surf Life Saving.

I attended the season launch for Rowing on Saturday morning and it was incredibly pleasing to see the support from parents and grandparents on the shores of Malpas Dam. This was a wonderful opportunity for the wider TAS community to see what goes on during a typical Saturday morning up at the dam. No doubt, the highlight of the morning was the Parents verse Student VIII event. I believe the protest from the students has been dismissed – in relation to some of the tactics from the experienced Parents First VIII. A note of thanks to Mr McDougall and Mr Currell for their organisation and preparation for the event.

In News outside of TAS Sport, there have been some notable achievements in the local sport arena. Congratulations to Luke Schmude and Mitchell Evans who played for Hockey New England in the U15 State Indoor Championships in Orange on the weekend. Their team won the division 1 Grand Final.

In the Girls Competition, representing Hockey New England in the U15 State Indoor Championships, the following girls, Jeanie Inglis, Tempe Macarthur-Onslow, Mosie Wright, Emma Henry and Scarlett Buntine won the division 2 Grand Final.

Congratulations to Archie McMaster who has been selected to represent the Central North Zone in Cricket at the Country NSW U16s Bradman Cup.

Next week the U15 Wybird Shield Cricket Team take on Lindisfarne Anglican College in Tweed Heads in their next round of the Wybird Shield knockout competition.


Our Debaters continue to impress on a National level. Last week our Year 11 team stepped up and won the Semi-Final of the Open division against Canberra Girls Grammar School to win a place in the National Virtual Debating Competition Grand Final. The Year 11 Team consisted of Bella Banister, Fred Kearney, Sophia Paris, Louis Ross. We wish our Open team well as they prepare for the Grand Final.


Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular

National grand final berth for debaters!

It’s the business end of the National Virtual Debating Competition, with TAS to be represented in the Opens division grand final! While TAS Opens B (Year 11) were defeated in their own quarter final against Scotch College Melbourne a fortnight ago, they valiantly stepped up last week to fill in for the now-departed Year 12 team, TAS Opens A, who had made the semis, against Canberra Girls’ Grammar. The topic ‘That free contraceptives should be made available at secondary schools’ was a controversial and challenging one, with the adjudicator praising both sides for the maturity and sensitivity they brought to the debate – which was awarded to TAS, who successfully negated the proposition. Congratulations to Sofia Paris, Louis Ross, Fred Kearney and Bella Banister for making the ultimate clash in this competition.

However, Canberra Girls Grammar had the upper hand in the Middle Division quarter-final on Monday against Year 9 debaters Daniel Emmery, Samuel Krishnan, Jack Coddington and Stella Maroulis, who now sadly bow out of the competition having been undefeated throughout the pool and knockout rounds.

Meanwhile, the Year 7/8 team comprising Robin Henry, Steven Harwood, Jess Emmery, and Peter Thompson will have their Junior division quarter-final against Newcastle Grammar on Monday, having defeated PLC Sydney in the knockout on 31 October. It is pleasing that four of our five teams in the competition made it to the finals stage – a great credit to all. We also wish these teams well for the Federation Cup gala day in Tamworth next Wednesday, when they will be arguing for glory against Calrossy Anglican School, Farrer MAHS, and hosts, McCarthy Catholic College.

Louis Ross in action against Canberra Girls’ Grammar School in the NVD Opens semi-final last week, with Fred Kearney, Sofia Paris and Bella Banister watching on
















Lions Youth of the Year Quest

TAS was well represented by Sofia Paris and Fred Kearney at this year’s Lions Youth of the Year Competition, hosted by the Armidale Dumaresq Lions Club, the first to be held for two years due to the pandemic. The first component, worth 70 percent of their overall mark, was an interview with three judges on Saturday 29 October about their academic, co-curricular and community involvement, and also their thoughts on local, national and international issues. The following Wednesday they took part in the public speaking section at Armidale Bowling Club as part of a special Lions Club dinner meeting. The five competitors each delivered prepared speeches and also two impromptus, on the topics ‘Water or dry?’ and ‘What will you remember the coronavirus pandemic for?’ The public speaking section was won by a student from NEGS, with Fred being named the overall Youth of the Year winner who will progress to the region finals next year. TAS is grateful to the Armidale Dumaresq Lions Club for enabling such a wonderful opportunity for the region’s youth.

Tim Hughes
MIC Debating & Public Speaking




Armidale Schools Team Triathlon 2022

Five TAS teams contested the annual Armidale Schools Team Triathlon last Sunday, with some wonderful results.

The dynamic Primary girls entered three teams, placing 1st, 2nd and 8th in the Junior Division, with the winning team consisting of Minnie Chick, Zana Ross and Ellie Cullen. In the Intermediate High Schools, the team of Isabella Henderson, Ted Chick and Emily Ussher won convincingly, whilst in the Senior Division, Fred Kearney and Harrison Miller placed 2nd. It was terrific to see so many students new to Triathlon competing, including Cecilia Price, Elsie and Lulu Caulfield and Edwina Newton.


Mr James Pennington


Walk a Mile in another Man's Wheels

What a wonderful explosion of colour and excitement we witnessed on Friday night. Thank you to the 213 students, the parents and the staff who made everything possible. The support of Richard Tombs (OA 85) was enormous, and I know that he was personally touched by the passionate involvement from all.

Students from Kindergarten to Year 11 walked, ran, pushed and wheeled their way around two distinct loops of the school. Yes, there were some unique obstacles, however the motivation was in the right place, attempting for only a brief point in time, to try and understand what life in a wheelchair must be like. Having Richard at TAS for this event was incredibly special, allowing him to see firsthand the strength of our superb community.

Congratulations to all, and well done to those students for whom this was the final leg in their pursuit of the Triple Crown.


Mr James Pennington


09. From the Head of Middle School


This Week’s Highlights

This week, our Middle School students have been burning off energy during break times on the new Middle School playground equipment. Yesterday, it was wonderful to invite Dr Horton and Mr Bradley across to Middle School to be thanked by our students for the investment that has been made for our students. We know that Middle School students for many years will be benefit from this playground space. The new playground space has been constructed next to the multi-purpose Belfield Courts behind Hoskins, providing our students with a number of active options to keep them entertained during break times.

The relationship between TAS Middle School and the residents of Newling Gardens retirement village continues to go from strength to strength. To date, it has been TAS visiting Newling Gardens regularly on a Friday to build relationships with the residents, have conversations, play games and assist with jobs where they can. From week to week approximately 20-30 students participate in this ongoing service activity. On Monday afternoon, Middle School hosted approximately 45 residents for an afternoon of music performances, poetry recitals, showcasing work and activities with the residents. Our students also baked and provided afternoon tea for the visitors. It was a wonderful afternoon and we have received many positive comments from the residents who visited. My sincere thanks go to Mrs Rachel Piddington and Mrs Regina Pollard for their commitment to this activity and providing this wonderful opportunity for our students.

Tomorrow, our students and staff are looking forward to our annual Bivouac. A number of activities have been planned for Year 6 and 7 students in and around Dumaresq Dam and Year 8 with the Cadet Program. These opportunities provide valuable learning opportunities for our students and the skills gained in independence, resilience and cooperation are life long and I look forward to hearing reports of these trips upon their return.


Upcoming Events

There have been a number of communications sent from Middle School recently to different year groups regarding different events and activities. I have included a summary of what has been sent below to assist with your planning.

Year 6 and 7 – Activities Week – Yarahapinni

As previously mentioned, Year 6 & 7 and staff will be travelling to Yarrahapinni (Grassy Head) for Activities Week. This occurs from Monday 28 November to Friday 2 December. Below is a link to the information page and consent form which needs to be completed for each child please. Additionally, Yarrahapinni require a signed consent form to be completed. Please complete this as well and send it back to us at school and we will collate.



Year 8 – Unique Student Identifier (USI) for First Aid Course

Further to the letter sent to Year 8 Parents and Carers regarding upcoming events, can you please register your child for a USI number. This number is unique to your child, remains with them and is needed for accrediting the First Aid certificate.
Details for how to register can be found here:

Once you have completed this process, can you please send the number through to us using this form:


Middle School Final Assembly and Lunch

I’d like to invite Middle School parents and carers to join our Middle School staff for lunch in the Middle School grounds on Thursday 8 December at 12:45pm. This will be followed by the Middle School Final Assembly to be held in the Gymnasium commencing at 2pm. Please use the link below to RSVP.



Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School

10. From the Head of Junior School


Thank you for assisting with our SHREK Working Bee

As the end of term draws even closer, the level of activity is rapidly increasing with end of year celebrations. This includes the preparations for SHREK which have been quite demanding and somewhat challenging as we head into our final rehearsals. Without the stage, set and props being finalised this would not be possible so you can imagine the fervour behind the scenes. So, thank you to all those who were in last weekend (and you know who you are); your support and expertise was greatly appreciated. We will be tapping a couple of you again on the shoulder to tie up some loose ends this weekend…so, one and all, if you have sometime on Sunday between 10.00 – 1.00 pm, please let JS Reception know and we will prepare a paintbrush for you. As always, thanks for your support.


Orientation Morning – Monday 21 November

As is the case at this time of the year, Junior School has organised a day this Monday 21 November to invite our 35 or so, new students into TAS for a morning of activity and fun to help orientate them to our Junior School. To do this, each class moves up to their next year level and is introduced to their new teacher for 2023. It is an exciting time for our students and each and every one of them will be full of stories after school, I’m sure.


Bike Safety Day and Triathlon

Please remember that this very special day is approaching fast and that all those wishing to ride at school will need to have a well-maintained machine. Everyone loves the day and it is a real shame if anyone has to miss out through not having a safe bike to ride.


Week 7 – End of Sport Activities week (games still with a town comp)

Week 7 will be the last week for most sports, both games and training. However, for the basketballers, the town competition will continue and we want to support this by playing right through to the end of term. Mr Secker has all the details and will share them with you all but please be prepared, the hoops at the Den will be ready and waiting for you right through until the end of term.


School Spirits

Congratulations to the following students that received School Spirit Awards last week:

Gus Hodges, Jayden Chen, Sienna Rice, Elizabeth Collins, Sabine Kiehne, James Gillman, Elara Polson, Mishkah Alrdadi, Finley Boyce, Chloe Chen, Daniel Mo, Lexie Kay, Lara Thavapalasundaram, Neave Drain, Freddie Post, Matilda Polson, Ethan Downes, Evelyn Brownlie, Joshua Bourke, Ollie Rogers, Olivia Colyvas and Flynn Ritchie. 


Happy Birthday

Birthday wishes go to William Minter and Noah Pearson this week. Happy birthday boys.



Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School

Shrek Working Bee

Thank you to all those amazing parents, students and helpers who made the time and put in so much effort to create the Shrek set on Saturday morning. It was incredible to see so much happen and come together in such a short period of time.

The muscle to put together a castle and the finesse to steam every costume to perfection is so greatly appreciated. It is very clear why TAS Productions are so highly regarded, it’s not only the incredible work the creative arts team do, but the support and help from our wider TAS community which ensure the show comes together. The Junior School production would not be possible without your unwavering support and help.

Thank you again to all those who gave up their Saturday morning to assist.

Mr Craig Norrie


Upcoming Events

Term 4
Monday 21 NovemberOrientation Morning
Friday 25 NovemberJunior School Triathlon and Bike Day
Monday 28 NovemberActivities Week begins
Wednesday 30 NovemberFinal Assembly
Thursday 1 DecemberShrek Matinee Performance – 1.30pm – 3.30pm
Friday 2 DecemberShrek Matinee Performance – 1.30 – 3.00pm
Shrek Evening Performance – 6 – 7.30pm
Saturday 3 DecemberShrek Evening Performance – 6 – 7.30pm
Tuesday 6 DecemberPool Party
Thursday 8 DecemberJunior School Speech Day – 9am – 10.30am
School Concludes (3.30pm)

Junior School Sport

TAS Junior School Triathlon – Friday, 25 November

Our annual Junior School Bike Day and Triathlon will be held in our beautiful grounds on Friday 25 November. Bike Day will commence at 9am with activities involving obstacle courses, long distance rides and bike safety sessions.

Our Triathlon will commence at 2pm after walking the course at 1:30. Lunch will be as normal on the day.

Kindergarten and Year 1 children will all be involved in a team event, whilst students in Years 2 and above will have a choice of either entering as an individual or as part of a team.

Following are the distances each year group will have to complete as part of the Triathlon.


Kindergarten1 lap½ lap½ lap
Year 11 lap½ lap½ lap
Year 22 laps½ lap½ lap
Year 32 laps1 lap1 lap
Year 43 laps1 lap1 lap
Year 53 laps1 lap1 lap

Please ensure your child has their bike in good working order ready for the day, along with their bike helmet, drink bottle and hat. Children will wear sports uniform for the day.

Presentations will be held from 3pm on Wakefield Oval.

If you would like to assist with the Triathlon and are available to help direct competitors, please contact Mrs Christine Wright cwright@as.edu.au or Mrs Sandra Lasker in reception.



Indoor Hockey

It was TAS v TAS last Friday and both teams showed excellent improvement with their push passing, attacking and defence. With a few players away, the game was smaller in number, but bursting with energy! Miss Nicholls and Miss Lockwood were so impressed with the effort on the field. Some excellent hockey overall and the flushed cheeks and wide grins were a great indication of an excellent afternoon.  

Miss Lara Nicholls




The Junior School basketballers have been working hard at training on their ball movement, and passing. These drills were noticed, with a much improved performance by both year 2/3 teams on Monday afternoon.

Daniel Mo was on fire, getting himself into excellent offensive positions, and hitting some phenomenal baskets. While Hugh Blackwell did not let down for 1 second with his relentless determination in defence. It was a TAS V TAS affair, and the game was decided at the final buzzer – great game to watch.

In one of the highest scoring games of the season, the TAS year 4/5 team came up on top, 60-42. A lot of hustle was shown by all as they worked hard diving for loose balls, and making scoring opportunities. Special mention to Lewis Percy and Toby White for their efforts at both ends of the court.

Coach Secker

Community Notices