2023 Term 2 Week 6   |   31.05.2023

TAS Talks Term 2 Week 6

01. From the Principal


Armidale is in the middle of the 2023 Eisteddfod and while there are many categories and competitions still to come, TAS has had a wonderful start with a wide range of successes across the choral sections in particular. These include the TAS Senior Choir winning the prestigious New England Choral Open Championship.

While music, drama and debating or public speaking are not compulsory co-curricular options at TAS, it is incredible to see the uptake of these options by students. 65 percent of Junior School children, 49 percent of Middle School and 36 percent of Senior School students participate in one or more of the creative and performing arts outside of their regular classes.

Over the past week the Senior and the Junior Athletics Championships have also taken place. While there have been records broken and winners will be announced in due course, the hallmark of our sports carnivals is participation and student support, and that was evident in spades despite the chilly temperatures.

Next week as we head into the long weekend, we look forward to the annual Dick Hodgson Shield fixtures including sporting events, chess and debating. While the shield is contested between TAS and Farrer, NEGS and Calrossy are also joining us for a number of matches. Parents and families who are able to attend would be welcome to add to the student support over the afternoon.


Dr Rachel Horton

02. From the Deputy Principal


I was pleased to see that new legislation is being introduced to restrict the sale of vapes in Australia. In what is undoubtedly a social issue that extends outside the gates of The Armidale School, it remains a significant concern as to what vaping is doing to our young people and what the long-term effects will be. The Federal Health Minister has named vaping the biggest crisis currently in our schools. Unfortunately, vapes remain readily accessible and clearly target children with their colourful packaging and flavours such as ‘Mango-Banana Ice’, ‘Ice Cream’ and ‘Strawberry Sundae’. Despite the harmless appearance of vapes, there is no doubt they contain dangerous chemicals including nicotine. In comparison to a packet of cigarettes that contains 200 ‘puffs’ a standard vape has 10, 000 puffs and 16 times the nicotine found in the same packet of cigarettes. 

The Government’s decision to ban the retail sale of vapes was triggered by an inquiry by the Therapeutic Goods Association and is based on reports made by medical experts and university research. Earlier this week, Channel 7 aired a Spotlight documentary  Killers in the Mist. I recommend this to our families as it does place focus on adolescent use. 

Smoking or Vaping is not permitted on the grounds of The Armidale School by students or parents. We provide education to our students on the health risks of vaping and they are well-informed of the consequences of choosing to engage with this behaviour at School or while in uniform or representing the School.  


Mr Ray Pearson
Deputy Principal



Attention Farmers

Amanda Johnson is completing her Masters in Sustainability Leadership at Cambridge University, and her dissertation is in relation to overcoming the barriers and motivating farmers to adopt regenerative agriculture. Amanda is a past PLC student (1998) and her brother Trent attended TAS (2000).

Amanda would like to interview about 30 broad acre farmers or mixed farmers in relation to her dissertation, primarily those who grow crops for commercial sale. You don't need to know or have anything to do with regenerative agriculture (in fact, it is better if you don't), it will be a 30-45 minute interview in July/August this year by zoom.

If you are interested in participating and speaking to Amanda please contact her directly on

Junior School Open Morning – Friday 16 June

We are looking forward to welcoming current and prospective parents to TAS for this year’s Open Morning. It will be the ideal opportunity for visitors and parents to learn more about what makes Junior School the dynamic environment it is, and see it in action.

There will be plenty of classroom activities, tours of our extensive facilities and the chance to speak with specialist teachers and senior staff about the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme and our co-curricular and adventure opportunities.

To register, and for more information click on the FIND OUT MORE link below.

All welcome – why not bring along a friend who may also be interested in TAS.

03. Calendar of Events


Term 2
Wednesday 31 MayTAS Regional Tour (Coffs Harbour)
Thursday 1 JuneHSC History Excursion (Sydney)
NSW All Schools Swimming Championships
HSC Careers Expo
Friday 2 JuneNorth West Equestrian Expo
Saturday 3 JuneGPS Rugby TAS vs Scots (Away)
Monday 5 JuneTAS website launch
North West Equestrian Expo
Wednesday 7 JuneP&F Meeting (7pm)
Thursday 8 JuneCIS Cross Country Championships
Dick Hodgson Shield TAS vs Farrer (TAS)


TAS website!

We will be flicking the switch on to a new website that has been designed to be easier to view and easier to navigate. The site will go live on Monday 5 June and will largely be a site for prospective families looking at TAS as the education destination for their children. Expect large, beautiful images and flowing content to match.

Along with the new public site, we are also launching a new user-friendly parent portal. Access to the parent portal will be from the main page of the new site and will involve parents all having to log in to access all the important information they need from academic information and co-curricular activities to sports notices, student travel, school policies and much more.

The school has worked alongside Melbourne-based advertising and design agency Grant Day James to design and build the site. We will be very excited to hear what you think after we launch on Monday 5 June.


Cressida Mort
Director of Development

04. From the P&F


Athletics Carnivals

Thank you to all who baked goods and helped on the Kiosk at the MS/SS and JS Athletics carnivals. Also, to Liz Rogers from the P&F Executive doing the planning and preparation for these events.

Next P&F Meeting

The P&F will meet next week on Wednesday 7 June at 7.00pm. We will be face to face in Upper Maxwell as well as have a Zoom session running for those wishing to attend remotely. Hope to see you there.

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 215 517 2798

Password: parents

Dial in phone number:  +61 2 8015 6011

Contact 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 Assistant Chaplain


In the next school holidays, Scripture Union is again holding its popular Rugby Union Camp. This year it is aimed at boys and girls from Years 5 to 10. The camp aims to provide top-class rugby development during the day, along with some solid Bible teaching, fun and games in the evening. Last year Brad Thorn (ex-All-Blacks & Crusaders player and current QLD Reds Head Coach) helped out on this camp, along with Ofa Fainga’anuku (Tongan International who played in Australia, England & France). In the past Nick-Farr Jones was involved, and this year ex-Wallaby and TAS OA, Jim Holbeck will be helping out on the camp. There is up to a 100 percent fee discount if the cost of the camp is an issue. See the flyer below and if you would like to know more about this camp, Mr Tim Williams can provide some first-hand knowledge and is more than happy to chat about it!

Mrs Jo Benham
Assistant Chaplain

06. From the Director of Boarding


The annual Cloisters Races are always an enjoyable spectacle, and the 2023 editions didn’t disappoint. All houses competed admirably across both the girls’ and boys’ races with those boarders involved enjoying the unique experience. Special mention to the Abbott House boys’ team (pictured below) who comfortably won their race.

The Middle and Senior School Athletics Championships, held last Friday, are another great inter-house event showcasing the unique spirt and comradery of Abbott, Croft and Tyrrell Houses. Boarders were once again well represented across all events on the day and I’m expecting one of the Boarding Houses to be announced the overall winners at next week’s School Assembly.

Last Tuesday National Boarding Week was celebrated at the School Assembly and I would like to thank those boarders involved. Hamish Pengilley and Emily Pietsch for their welcome and detailed overview of TAS Boarding, Matthew Corderoy and Olivia Bolch for their heartfelt boarding experience speeches and PJ Carter and Jessie’Lei Minett for preparing the entertaining video.

A reminder that TAS will be closed for the upcoming King’s Birthday Long Weekend with boarders able to depart from 3.30 pm Thursday 8 June. Boarding houses will re-open at 1 pm Monday 12 June. Boarders are more than welcome to stay overnight on Thursday evening 8 June but are encouraged to make plans to vacate their boarding houses by 10 am on Friday 9 June. All boarders leave for the Long Weekend must be submitted, via Reach, ASAP.


Mr David Drain
Director of Boarding

07. From the Director of Co-curricular


Despite the weather, the MS/SS Athletics Championships was a huge success last Friday. I have become accustomed to the high levels of participation and House Spirit at TAS. However, I stress that what we experience at TAS is not normal! The support and encourage that our students show towards each other is heart-warming and a reflection of the TAS community. Students ‘have a crack’, parents engage throughout the day and staff ‘go above and beyond’ to provide an experience that will last a lifetime. Age Champions and House points will be announced in the Week 8 assembly but for now I want to congratulate our students, thank our parents and commend our staff for a wonderful day of Athletics.

You can check out an album of photos from the Championships HERE

Toby Inglis continues to perform at the highest level in cycling. Last weekend Toby competed in the National under 19 Road Cycling Series that took place in Canberra. He finished a commendable sixth in the general class and second in the first-year competitors. Unfortunately, Toby will not be able to complete the National Series because he has gained higher honours, having been seconded into the Zuyd Cycling Team (one of only 5 under 19 cyclists in NSW) to race in Europe. Toby, we wish you well in the coming weeks and look forward to your success continuing in the future.

Next week, prior to the long weekend, we have a set of sporting fixtures for a wide range of teams. We continue our traditional fixtures (basketball, chess, debating, football, rifle shooting, tennis and rugby) against Farrer for the Dick Hodgson Shield and our girls will play against NEGS in hockey and netball and Calrossy in rugby. This is certain to be an entertaining afternoon, so please come and support.

CLICK HERE to access the Fixtures List


Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular


08. From the Head of Creative Arts


We are thrilled that two TAS students, Annabelle Trinder (Year 11) and Aidan Rosberg (Year 12), have been selected amongst a group of 60 finalists in the 2023 University of New England School Acquisitive Art Prize. There were more than 500 art entries this year, from 50 schools, and these works demonstrated a wonderful array of creativity, imagination and skill. I encourage you to get to NERAM for the exhibition to see the rich artistic talent of students from across the region.

Last Wednesday TAS shined brightly at the Eisteddfod Choir Night, with performances full of life, energy, and joy. Our ensembles lifted the audience, everyone clearly had fun singing, and we ended up with two significant wins because of the talent and enthusiasm of the performers. My congratulations to all the students, parents, staff, and members of the community involved, but particularly Ms Leanne Roobol and Mr Tom Collett for running those choirs. Saturday was a great day for the students participating in the Theatresports and Mime categories of the Eisteddfod, with some hilarious and engaging performances and a win in the Year 9/10 category. Now that the Vocal and Speech and Drama components of the Eisteddfod are down it moves onto Bands, and we wish all our instrumentalists the very best in the coming weeks.

Mr Andrew O’Connell
Head of Creative Arts


09. Music Matters

Armidale Eisteddfod Continues!

You can access the entire Armidale Eisteddfod program here: https://buff.ly/40Ybc2N

The Armidale Eisteddfod has kept our musicians busy with TAS students, Staff and Choirs performing in the Piano, Choral, and Vocal events so far, with the String and Chamber music events commencing this week.

Thank you to the families, friends and staff who supported the TAS Choirs at Lazenby Hall and the Armidale Teachers’ College for the Primary and Secondary Choral events. We appreciate the wonderful support our students receive at the Eisteddfod.

The Eisteddfod Choral events were held last Wednesday, beginning with our Junior School Choirs. Our talented choral conductor, Miss Charlotte Low, conducted the K-2 Choir in their entertaining performances of ‘Ted E Bear and Me’ and ‘O Lovely Mud!’ in the K-2 non-competitive choral section. The adjudicator loved the actions and the obvious enjoyment shown by TAS K-2 Choir in their performances. Congratulations to the TAS Year 3-5 Choir who achieved 1st place in their Two-part K-6 section division and 2nd place in their Unison K-6 section division, receiving many positive comments from the adjudicator Cathie Neil. Well done to the TAS Trebles, who performed their two pieces with great energy and earned 3rd place.

The Choral Night was another wonderful evening of music with five TAS Choirs performing in the Choral sections. Our TAS Middle School Vocal Ensemble came second in the Year 10 and Under Choral event, performing ‘Amazing’ with confidence in two parts. Our Choirs were outstanding and highly entertaining, including the TAS Community Choir which sang the energetic ‘I Sing Because I’m Happy’, skilfully conducted by Mr William Mackson (Old Armidalian 2022) and accompanied by a Jazz Trio led by Mr Warwick Dunham (keyboard), Olive Lockett (Double Bass – Year 11 student) and Andrew Kirk (Drums – Old Armidalian 2020). TAS Chapel Choir joined by St Peters’ Cathedral Choir, conducted by Mrs Megan Ainsworth, sang beautifully.

The TAS Senior Choir had an incredible evening, winning both their events; Choir 19 Years and Under (The Paul Lamb Memorial Shield) and the New England Choral Championship Open (The Cecil Hill Memorial Shield) with $200 donated by the Armidale Choral Society. They performed a variety of pieces, showing their versatility and showcasing their beautiful blend in ‘Bring Me Little Water’, ‘Foundling’ and ‘Chatterbox’, which brought the house down with it’s sense of fun. Congratulations to all our choristers.

This week is Eisteddfod Strings week with many of our talented string soloists performing as well as our Ensembles, including our talented Junior School String Ensembles that will be performing this afternoon.

Armidale Eisteddfod String Ensemble and Chamber Music Ensemble Events

We are looking forward to the Armidale String Ensemble events which commence today, Wednesday 31 May, with our Junior String ensembles; and the Chamber Music Ensemble events which commence tomorrow, Thursday 1 June, with our Senior ensembles. 

Please note that these events are being held at the Armidale Teachers’ College Auditorium.

TAS students will travel to the Eisteddfod by bus, please see the list of events below.

Order of String Ensemble and Chamber Music Ensemble Events at Armidale Teachers’ College Auditorium

Wednesday 31 May, commencing at 12:30 pm

Strings K-6 Ensembles:

ST62 – Music Duos/Trios – Duet on any Bowed Instruments 10 Years & Under

1 Arwen Gorry, Edden Kanety

2 Edward Minter, William Minter

ST63 – Music Duos/Trios – Duet on any Bowed Instruments 12 Years & Under

1 William Minter, Harriet Minter

ST61 – Music Duos/Trios – Duet on any Bowed Instruments Non-Competitive

1 Harriet Minter, Lola Ferguson

2 Boki Lay, Robert Jackson

3 Micah Lay, Robert Jackson

4 Christian Soyer, Robert Jackson

ST74 – Music Groups – Ensemble on any Bowed Instruments Years K-6

1 St Mary’s String Group

EN09 – Music Groups – Chamber Ensemble Years K-6


2 TAS Junior Piano Trio

3 ACPS Chamber Ensemble

ST78 – Music Groups – Large Ensemble on any Bowed Instruments Years K-6

1 TAS Junior String Ensemble

2 PLC Armidale Junior String Ensemble

Thursday 1 June 2023, commencing 12:30 pm

Senior Strings Ensembles:

EN10 – Music Groups – Chamber Ensemble Years 8 & Under

1 PLC Year 7 String Trio

EN11 – Music Groups – Chamber Ensemble Years 9-12

1 ASC Banksia Piano Trio

2 PLC Armidale Advanced Chamber Ensemble

3 TAS Senior Chamber Ensemble

4 PLC Armidale Piano Trio

EN12 – Music Groups – Chamber Ensemble Open

1 TAS Brahms Trio

2 PLC Armidale Senior String Quartet

ST76 – Music Groups – Ensemble on any Bowed Instruments Years 7-12

1 PLC Armidale Senior Strings

2 TAS String Trio

ST77 – Music Groups – Ensemble on any Bowed Instruments Open

1 Armidale Youth Orchestra Sinfonia

2 PLC Armidale Cello Ensemble

ST79 – Music Groups – Large Ensemble on any Bowed Instruments Years 9 & Under

1 Armidale Youth Strings

ST81 – Music Groups – Large Ensemble on any Bowed Instruments Open

1 TAS Camerata

2 ASC String Ensemble

Armidale Eisteddfod Popular, Jazz & Folk Ensemble Events

We are looking forward to the Armidale Popular, Jazz and Folk Ensemble events which commence on Tuesday 6 June.

Please note that these events are being held at the Armidale Teachers’ College Auditorium including Band Night.

TAS students will travel to the Eisteddfod by bus, please see the list of events below.

Order of Popular, Jazz & Folk Ensembles Events at Armidale Teachers’ College Auditorium

Tuesday 6 June 2023, commencing 9 am

Class Ensembles Years 7-12:

EN05 – Music Groups – Class Ensemble Years 7-8

1 OCC Year 7

EN06 – Music Groups – Class Ensemble Years 9-10

1 TAS Year 9/10 Elective Music

2 OCC Year 9 A

3 PLC Armidale Stage 5 Music

4 OCC Year 9 B

EN07 – Music Groups – Class Ensemble Years 11-12

1 OCC Stage 6 Music2

2 TAS Year 11 Music

3 PLC Armidale Year 11 Music

EN14 – Music Groups – Percussion Ensemble Years 7-12

1 NEGS Drumline

Tuesday 6 June 2023, commencing 12:30 pm –Ensembles Years 7-12:

EN20 – Music Groups – Folk or Popular Ensemble Years 8 & Under

1 OCC Year 7&8 Band

2 TAS Contemporary Band 1

EN21 – Music Groups – Folk or Popular Ensemble Open

1 OCC Year 12 Band

2 TAS Contemporary Band 2

4 Uralla Central

3 Strung

5 TAS Contemporary Band 3

Tuesday 6 June 2023, commencing 6 pm – BAND NIGHT*:

EN16B – Music Groups – Any Instrumental Group, Non-Competitive Open

1 NECOM – Tilbusters

2 Armidale Electric Orchestra

3 TAS Middle School Band

EN17 – Music Groups – Any Instrumental Group Open

1 PLC Armidale Jazz Ensemble

2 Armidale Youth Winds

3 PLC Armidale Flute Ensemble

4 Armidale Youth Orchestra

EN18 – Music Groups – Large Instrumental Group with Contrasting Instrumental Families Open

1 Armidale Youth Orchestra

2 TAS Senior Concert Band

EN19 – Music Groups – Band – Concert, Stage or Brass Open

1 TAS Senior Concert Band

2 Armidale Youth Winds

3 New England Wind Ensemble

EN22 – Music Groups – Jazz Ensemble Open

1 TAS Senior Jazz Combo

* Please note that Band Night is at NECOM not at Lazenby Hall as printed in the Program of Events.

Audience Entry Fees are:

Adults $5.00/session Concession $3.00/session

*Performers are not required to pay an entry fee.

Solo Performers at the Eisteddfod

Thank you to the families that have sent through photos and information on the achievements of students at the Armidale Eisteddfod. We will showcase these at the conclusion of the Eisteddfod.If you would like your child’s success to be put in the TAS Talks newsletter, please send an email to Mrs Veronica Lucas – music@as.edu.au

A reminder to also please let classroom teachers and Year Advisors know when your child will be performing at the Eisteddfod.

Arrangements for Members of TAS Ensembles

Arrangements are made by the Music Staff for members of all TAS Ensembles that are performing in this year’s Eisteddfod. Ensemble members and their families will be sent information regarding the arrangements for their ensemble. Please contact Mrs Veronica Lucas if you have any questions regarding transport to ensemble events – music@as.edu.au

Please note that students are required to wear TAS FORMAL uniform to participate in all events.


Ziggy Harris Farewell Recital

Ziggy Harris’ Farewell Recital will be held in the Uniting Church on Saturday 10 June at 6:00pm. Tickets can be purchased online:



Ms Leanne Roobol
Director of Music

10. From the Head of Junior School



We talk often in the Junior School of remembering your ‘TAS BAG’ when you come to school. Of being Thoughtful, Accountable and Safe in all that we do, and of ensuring that we “Be kind, Always try our best and Get involved”. It is fair to say that students, parents and staff have well and truly lived this ideal in the last few weeks!

The Armidale Eisteddfod provided, and indeed still provides, an ideal opportunity for our students to “celebrate the performance of literature and music” (The Armidale Eisteddfod, https://armidale-eisteddfod.org.au/) over recent weeks. Many of our students have experienced individual successes in this event thus far. Importantly, I note that this success looks very different for each individual. For some it has been placing in a speech, drama or music performance, where for others success has been displaying the courage and fortitude to stand up and perform in front of a large, live audience for perhaps the first time ever. Doing so, either individually or as a member of a group, provides a wonderful opportunity to practice what have been termed the Four Cs of 21st century skills – critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. It has been fabulous to witness first-hand our students embracing the opportunities afforded them throughout this program – they truly have exemplified the TAS BAG in all they have done. Thank you to our various staff who have facilitated these performances, and to the tremendous number of family and friends who have supported our students in their recent endeavours. If you have missed the opportunity support the students over the last week you will be pleased to know there are a number of upcoming TAS entries in the Eisteddfod. Please check the program available at https://armidale-eisteddfod.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/2023-program-V12.pdf.

Monday this week saw all Junior School students competing in the 2023 House Athletics Carnival. We were blessed with warm, sunny weather and the students certainly put their best feet forward in the multitude of events on offer. It was especially impressive to see the House spirit of our students on display throughout the carnival, as evidenced by the House Chants contest and the inordinate number of students voluntarily choose to compete in events such as 200m and 800m over the course of the day in an effort to earn valuable points for their House. It was a fun-filled day of friendly competition and camaraderie with the final results announced at our Junior Assembly today. Congratulations to all who participated, and our sincere thanks to the many parents who were able to support their child(ren) throughout the day. The final results were:

Overall placing

  • 1st: Broughton (1002 points)
  • 2nd: Green (960 points)
  • 3rd: Ross (806 points)

Division Champions

  • Junior Girls: Anna Trevaskis
  • Junior Boys: Max Dennison
  • Intermediate Girls: Lexie Kay
  • Intermediate Boys: James Taylor & Jose Ugwumba
  • Senior Girls: Violet Caulfield
  • Senior Boys: Baxter Carruthers

New records set:

  • Intermediate Boys 400m: Patrick Bourke 1.28.81
  • Intermediate Girls 400m: Lexie Kay 1.33.50
  • Senior Boys 400m: Baxter Carruthers 1.18.99
  • Senior Girls 400m: Violet Caulfield 1.35.90

Students participating in the ‘Braniacs’ academic enrichment program competed in the Computation and Algorithmic Thinking (CAT) Competition facilitated by the Australian Maths Trust earlier this term. All performed exceptionally well in solving an incredibly challenging series of questions, designed for students from Year 5 and above, and should be justifiably proud of their efforts. Our hearty congratulations to the following students who placed especially well in this nationwide competition:

  • Luke Varvari – Distinction
  • Sarah Chittenden – Credit
  • Patrick Kim – Credit
  • Darya Samadi – Credit

All members of our community are warmly invited to attend the Junior School Open Morning on Friday 16 June between 9.30am and 11.00am. Designed to provide attendees a snapshot of life within the Junior School, this likely be interesting for the families of both existing and prospective students. For further information and to register for the even please visit  https://www.as.edu.au/junior-school-open-morning/.


Happy Birthday

Wishing Mason Grace-Booth, Daniel Bayne and Alex Feng a very happy birthday for their special days this week.


Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School


Upcoming Events

Term 2
Wednesday 31 MayJunior School Dance Eisteddfod
 Year 2 Assembly (Hoskins – 2.45pm)
Wednesday 7 JuneKindergarten Assembly (Hoskins 2.45 pm)
Friday 9 JuneStaff Day
Monday 12 JunePublic Holiday
Wednesday 14 JuneYear 3 Assembly (Hoskins 2.45 pm)
Thursday 15 JunePre-Kindergarten Assembly (Hoskins 2.45 pm)
Friday 16 JuneJunior School Open Day
Tuesday 20 JunePre-Kindergarten 2024 Interviews
Junior School Forensics Day
Wednesday 21 JuneHouse Meetings
Thursday 22 JuneSchool Concludes

Junior School Sport


The TAS Primary team put on a great performance in their netball match on the weekend against the ACSC Vixens, winning 31-8. Their passing was exceptional, and they showed tremendous improvement in spreading out and moving towards the ball. Overall, it was a great team effort and the TAS players should be proud of their impressive victory.

Mrs Kate Moloney




U11 Boys White

Firstly, a huge thank you to Tim Blake and Duncan Klabe from Under 11s Blue, for filling in for our team this Monday, we appreciated your amazing skills on the field! With 4 of our players out sick, once again the boys held their own, even after the athletics carnival! Some solid tackles from Riley in middle defence, along with great support of his players in tough spots from Ted. Pat and Duncan displayed some excellent passing and communication, with Tim always in an amazing position to receive and take a shot at the goal. Daniel worked hard on the goals; his efforts were consistent and enthusiastic! We didn’t come away with a win on the scoreboard, but definitely a win for our team players! – Well done boys!


Mrs Jess Sykes

Community Notices