2024 Term 1 Week 8   |   20.03.2024

TAS Talks Term 1 Week 8

01. From the Principal


This week, I head out on the road with Mr David Drain (Director of Boarding) and Mrs Jo Neilson (Enrolments Registrar), marking the start of our 2024 Regional Tour.  It is always a great occasion to travel to our students’ communities to connect with families and alumni and share school news and updates. We also look forward to meeting prospective families and students. We will be in Moree, Narrabri, Tamworth, Gunnedah and Scone over the next three weeks and look forward to seeing many of you there.

Dr Rachel Horton

02. From the Deputy Principal


We have less than three weeks remaining in Term 1. Based on my experience, this period, characterized by being ‘almost there but not quite,’ is critical in determining the term’s success.

At this point, it has become evident that many are understandably impacted by fatigue. Reflecting on the past seven weeks, it is no surprise, given the many extraordinary opportunities provided. Unfortunately, from my experience, relationships often become the first casualty of fatigue. In the last week alone, there have been isolated instances of personal standards dropping in how we interact, approach learning, and meet expectations. While not widespread or cause for concern, it serves as a timely reminder that it’s been a long term, and people are fatigued, facing pressure from various areas.

Instead of ignoring this and hoping to get through to the end of the term unscathed, it’s better to acknowledge and address it. It’s time for us all to check in with ourselves, identify our fatigue and stress levels, re-engage with self-care strategies, remain focused on our goals, and be proud of what we’ve achieved so far this year.

For all staff, students, and myself, I believe three essential considerations need to be at the forefront of our minds for the remainder of the term:

  1. Being in tune with our own state of mind and developing self-care strategies.
  2. Seeking to maintain and strengthen the relationships we’ve invested time and effort into.
  3. Ensuring the work we’ve done translates into meaningful results.

We have some exciting events to look forward to to alleviate pressure and provide a healthy break from any ‘ruts’ we may have found ourselves in. The Bivouac/Activity Days next Tuesday and Wednesday offer an opportunity to experience the value of serving others through our Cadets or Rural Fire Service, Surf Life Saving, and Local Service programs. Additionally, our Junior School gaining a free run of the Senior School’s facilities is exciting. We then have a break from routine with Easter and the opportunity to return for the final eight days of Term 1 with renewed energy and focus. We conclude the term with Cash Cup, House Cross Country.

In our final week of term, we have Cash Cup Lip Sync on Wednesday (10/4) and our Junior and Senior School House Cross Country Championships on Thursday (11/4). The first weekend of the holidays is the TAS Rugby Carnival (13-14/4), a great event for our whole community to come together.

I’ve been impressed with both TAS staff and students this year; their enthusiastic and optimistic approach speaks volumes about the positive intent with which we started the year. As we conclude Term 1, it is crucial that we maintain the positive relationships we’ve worked hard for and take care of ourselves and those close to us.


Mr Ray Pearson
Deputy Principal

03. Calendar of Events

Wednesday 20 March – Sunday 24 MarchAustralian National Rowing Championships
Wednesday 20 MarchTAS Regional TourMoree
Thursday 21 MarchTAS Regional TourNarrabri
Thursday 21 MarchFederation Cup Debating FinalsTamworth
Sunday 24 MarchCricket Dinner6.30 – 9.30 pm
Monday 25 MarchNAPLAN
Tuesday 26 MarchTAS Regional TourGunnedah & Tamworth
Wednesday 27 MarchTAS Regional TourGunnedah & Tamworth
Classes Conclude
Thursday 28 MarchStaff Day
Monday 1 AprilBoarders Return
Tuesday 2 AprilClasses Resume
Wednesday 3 Aprilda Vinci DecathlonYear 7 & 8
Boarders Formal Dinner
Thursday 4 Aprilda Vinci DecathlonYear 5 & 6
TAS Regional TourScone
Friday 5 Aprilda Vinci DecathlonYear 9 & 10


04. From the P&F


TASRC – Volunteers

TAS Rugby Carnival is the first weekend of the upcoming term break. The P&F will operate venues for barbecues and kiosks, as well as pack player lunches and sell donated home baked goods. We are calling for volunteers to help on Friday 12 April with set up, as well as Saturday 13 – Sunday 14 at the Carnival.

Thank you to the 44 helpers who have already signed up. We need over 170 helpers across the weekend!

Please visit the link to confirm your support for the days/times you are available TASRC Volunteer Sign Up


TASRC – Baking

The TAS baking community is largely responsible for the financial success of the TAS Rugby Carnival for the P&F. So, once again, we are calling on your donations.

Baked items need to be:

  • Nut free
  • Well-formed (such as slice) to keep shape when served or moved into individual bags
  • Fresh for consumption until the Sunday (14th April) of the carnival
  • Accompanied by a list of ingredients (people buying often ask – we’re asking people to use our standard recipes, so we have ready-made labels)
  • Of a serving size suitable for a $3-$5 price point.

With all these requirements, and with our knowledge of sales at past carnivals, we’ve created a list of preferred baked items and their recipes available at: TASRC Recipes

If you can bake for TASRC please review further information & signup at:

TASRC Baking Sign Up

TASRC – Catering Captains

In addition to helpers on TASRC weekend, we also need a few volunteers to pre-make food items. the P&F will purchase the ingredients; you provide the know-how, kitchen and effort to make the items. We need the following made:

  • Yoghurt & Granola Cups – Approximately 85 portions

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 Director of Boarding


Seasons of New England

Boarders can take part in a trip to Uralla this weekend for the Seasons of New England Expo.

The Expo is a large market featuring local producers, plenty of food, craft, and more. Further information can be found here.

It is essential that boarders sign up before 3:30 pm Wednesday. A $10 charge will be added to their school account to cover the bus and entry to the expo. Late cancellations (after 3:30 pm Thursday) will still be charged.

To register interest in attending, please enter details into this form.


06. From the Acting Director of Teaching and Learning


Parent Teacher Interviews

Parent Teacher interviews for Years 6-12 across three sessions. The dates and times for these sessions can be found below:

Thursday 11 April              3:00pm – 5:30pm

Friday 12 April                     9:00am – 1:00pm

Monday 29 April                9:00am – 1:00pm

Parents and Carers will receive details on how to log in and book sessions with teachers on Monday, 25 March.

Early Entry – Year 12

Earlier this week, Year 12 students were sent an extensive update on Universities and details regarding closing dates and processes. Please see below a copy of this important information. Year 12 students are encouraged to speak to Emily Dobson, Careers Advisor if they need any support with these.

University Early Entry Guide 2024-25

Early Entry

  • UNE OPEN – https://www.une.edu.au/study/study-on-campus/early-entry
  • ANU OPEN – https://www.apply-asa.anu.edu.au/anu/
  • Western Sydney University – Open April 3
  • UAC Applications – Open April 3
  • University of Sydney – Open April 3
  • University of Newcastle – Open on April 8
  • University of Notre Dame – Open on May 1
  • Charles Sturt – Open May 1
  • University of Canberra – Open May 20
  • Macquarie University – Open June 3
  • University of Wollongong – Open June 17
  • Australian Catholic University – Open July 22

Open Days and Information Sessions 

Online Medicine Information Night – 20 March. Charles Sturt University is running an online Medicine Information Night at 6:00pm on Wednesday 20 March 2024. Those who attend will get information on clinical placements, career opportunities, support services, scholarships and more. Information about the University Clinical Aptitude Test for Australia and New Zealand (UCAT ANZ) will also be delivered and attendees will hear about the experiences of rural and regional doctors. Charles Sturt University offers the Joint Program in Medicine in partnership with Western Sydney University. The two-year program runs on our Orange campus in regional New South Wales and is followed by three years of regional placements. Those who wish to attend can book here.

University of Sydney Webinar – Pathways to studying Law at Sydney – 3 April. Attendees at this webinar will hear from a panel of current students who have joined the law community at Sydney through alternate pathways, transferring or studying graduate entry law. https://uni-sydney.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN__O3rIuA4TleLveKhBOfatQ#/registration

University of Sydney – Year 12 Environmental Engineering Evening – 4 April. Environmental engineering is crucial for developing sustainable solutions to address pressing environmental challenges, ensuring the health and well-being of both ecosystems and human populations for generations to come. Students presently in Year 12 will be granted exclusive access to cutting-edge laboratories, where they can observe the transformative effects of environmental engineering through real-world demonstrations. They will have the privilege of engaging with experienced environmental engineers actively shaping the field. Attendees can delve deeper into our pioneering degree program, slated to commence in 2025. Light refreshments will be served. Due to the limited space available in laboratories numbers are strictly limited and registration is essential. https://whatson.sydney.edu.au/event/b53e7898-9a62-4c32-95a4-635a4a839856/Year%2012%20Environmental%20Engineering%20Evening

ACU Talk With Series – Lawyers and Human Rights Advocates – 10 April. Join online to hear from ACU alumni about life after university. Take part in a Q&A session with our graduates and get an insiders perspective on working in law and human rights.https://www.acu.edu.au/about-acu/events/2024/april/talk-with-lawyers-and-human-rights-advocates

BiG Day In Port Macquarie – 8 May. The ACS Foundation in conjunction with Charles Sturt University invites students to attend the 2024 BiG Day In Port Macquarie – an IT careers conference for students in Years 9 – 12. This is a free event at Charles Sturt Port Macquarie (Building 802, 7 Major Innes Road, Port Macquarie) on Wednesday 8 May 2024 from 9:00am – 2:30pm. During the event students will hear from leading speakers from organisations such as Woolworths, Essential Energy, Birdon Marine and loads more! The speakers will focus on the future of technology and how students can be involved in shaping the future. Those who attend will also have the opportunity to visit exhibitor stands to learn about work experience, courses and career pathways in IT. Book tickets here.

University of Newcastle – Central Coast and Newcastle Parent and Carers Info Sessions. Parents and carers of Year 12 students to join us this year for our face-to-face Central Coast and Newcastle Parents and Carers Info Sessions. Parents and Carers will have the opportunity to hear from knowledgeable university staff and current students, covering a range of different topics to assist in supporting your child through their transition from high school to university including entry schemes and pathways to university including our Early Entry Program.

Central Coast Parents and Carers Info Session Register HereCentral Coast Clinical School, Gosford1 May 2024
Newcastle Parents and Carers Info Session Register Here for face-to-face event

*Newcastle session will also be live streamed online. Live stream details will be shared closer to event.

Callaghan Campus2 May 2024

Maths Careers in Science and the Environment – Hear Amazing People’s Career Stories. 
From Astrophysics and Chemistry to Biology and Zoology, Mathematics is a fundamental tool used in science to understand how and why the world works. Data analysis, mathematical modelling and evidence-based decision making play an important role in research. Scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find science and maths working together to help understand our planet, oceans and wildlife, discover new galaxies and advance new technologies. With rising global temperatures, food security concerns and changing global ecosystem dynamics, climate change is a real and urgent priority! The green economy is worth $6 trillion worldwide and is the fastest growing market globally, with 850,000 more people needed in the sector by 2030. https://careers.amsi.org.au/search-careers/science-environment/


Mr Luke Polson
Acting Director of Teaching and Learning


Year 12 Geography field trip to cotton country

Year 12 Geography, along with our exchange students from Scotland, Germany and Canada, had a taste of Big Sky Country last week as we travelled to Wee Waa and Narrabri for a two-day immersion into the cotton industry. Generously hosted once again by the Kahl family, Sam Kahl (OA, 2009) gave us a great insight into how a cotton farm works. From here we moved onto the Cotton Seed Distributor and Australian Classing Services in Wee Waa, following up with the research and development side of the industry the next day, at the Australian Cotton Research Institute. We even took part in a bit of the research process, preparing some plants for study by the scientists.

The global cotton industry is one of the three HSC topics studied by Year 12 Geography.

Ms Fiona Taber
Year 12 Geography

International Maths Day

International Maths Day – competition winners

Thank you to all that participated in this years mathematics competition and a hearty congratulations to the following students for their winning entries:

Junior School – Liam Hoad – Sensational Symmetry
Middle School -Lachie Wood –  ‘Pi cones’
Senior School – Heather Bassett – ‘The world is growing exponentially, but when you see the rate of it all, you notice some things never change’

Please see the winning entries attached.

Mrs Rachel Piddington
Head of Mathematics

07. Leadership, Service and Adventure


Run for Mac

I would like to invite you and your children to join an initiative of Jack McCook (Year 12) in support of Cormac Downes (Year 9) and his family. Cormac is currently undergoing treatment for cancer at the Sydney Children’s Hospital.

On Saturday 6 April, the Campus to City Canter is back (8 am start). It is a 5km run from Sport UNE (Consett Davis Fields), following the cycleway into town and finishing at Curtis Park.

Please consider joining us for a 5km sprint/jog or walk in support of Cormac. Your involvement will support the Downes family financially, easing the stress of the cost of transport, accommodation and medical bills whilst also spurring Mac to keep fighting. The cost of this event is $20.

If you wish to participate, please contact Jim Pennington jpenning@as.edu.au


Mr James Pennington
Adventure, Service and Challenge Coordinator


The first full unit BIVOUAC of the year will be conducted from 0840 Tuesday 26 March to 1530 Wednesday 27 March, 2024. This is a two day, one night exercise.

Cadets are to assemble on Adamsfield by 0840 26 March under ‘Marching Orders’, that is with their pack, webbing and all their gear ready for two days and a night in the field.

The unit will start this BIVOUAC with a Promotions Parade, where those who successfully completed Leaders Course will be promoted to their new rank for the year. The great strength of this program is the fact it is student led. Rank are put in charge of groups of up to 25 students and are responsible for motivating and organising that group to achieve set objectives.

The unit will operate in the following locations for BIVOUAC 1:

  • A Coy – Malpas Dam and surrounds to conduct rotation of Kayak, Trek, Obs Course and MTB.
  • B Coy – Newholme Station (UNE Ag Plot) and surrounds to conduct rotation of Navigation, Kayak, River Crossing and Fieldcraft.
  • C Coy – Newholme Station (UNE Ag Plot) and surrounds to conduct rotation of Navigation, Canoe, Abseil and Fieldcraft.

In depth briefings will occur during Advisor time, Monday and Tuesday Week 8 (18 and 19 March). Students are to be at the following locations by 0830.

  • A Coy – Hoskins Centre
  • B Coy – Memorial Hall
  • C Coy – McConville Centre

Before briefings occur, students are to check their gear extensively. Q-Store will be open Wednesday and Friday during lunchtime Week 8 to swap out any damaged gear. Any gear that is lost will be charged to student accounts. TAS Cadet Gear is loaned to students for their time in cadets. One set of cadet gear costs $2500, and hence should be looked after appropriately.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.


CAPT (AAC) J Woodbridge
Officer Commanding, TASACU




Bush Skills Activity Days - 26/27 March


  • UNE Sport – rock wall climbing, obstacle course, swimming in the morning. Afternoon at TAS doing tent pitching and knot tying

Clothes to wear – jeans or shorts, collared shirt, joggers, socks, jumper; things to bring in the TAS backpack– water bottle, hat, recess, swimmers, towel and goggles, plastic bag for wet swimmers etc, asthma puffer.


  • Mt Yarrowyck hike to see cave and rock paintings during the morning
  • Initiative games and navigational skills in the afternoon.

Clothes to wear – jeans(no shorts), collared shirt, long socks, hiking boots or joggers(only lace or zip up – no RM Williams type boots); things to bring in TAS backpack – water bottle, recess, broad-brimmed hat, jumper, asthma puffer

All activities will be completed within the school day timeframe so students can catch buses as required.

Mrs Kirsty Brunsdon

Surf Lifesaving

08. From the Director of Co-curricular

Mr Huon Barrett

As Summer Co-Curricular Activities come into their final weeks, it is important that students continue to attend training sessions and wear their correct uniform. This weekend we wish out First XI well as they play in the Grand Final. It has been three years since a TAS First XI has had the opportunity to play for a premiership and here is hoping we can go one better than the team of 2021.

Congratulations to our TAS Swim Team who performed exceptionally well at the NCIS Swimming Carnival at Alstonville last week. Some excellent individual performances with a number of students being awarded NCIS Age Champions, see the full list below.

12 Boys Age Champions

  • 1st Clay Nixon
  • 3rd Tom Loxley

13 Boys Age Champion

  • 3rd Aidan Arkit

18 Girls Age Champion

  • 2nd Prudence Black

18 Boys Age Champion

  • 2nd James Collum

Last week Lang Toakley competed in the CIS Golf Selection Trial at Belmont Golf Course. Lang shot an incredible even par round (72), which placed him in equal second. Lang has now been selected in the CIS team to compete at the NSW All Schools Competition in June.

The Creative Arts Department continue to practice and perform with distinction. Congratulations to all students who performed in the Twilight Concert on Monday night. I commend Mrs Roobol for her dedication and the opportunities she provides for our talented musicians. As we draw closer to the Senior Production – CHICAGO Teen Edition – (to be performed in week 1 and 2 of term 2), I encourage all our cast and crew to ensure they are giving it their all in what I am sure will be an amazing show.

Next week Years 6 to 12 will embark on Bivouac Activities (Tuesday and Wednesday), students have had the opportunity to hear from their leaders and information has already been made available to parents. It is important that this weekend students prepare for Bivouac by reading and accumulating their necessary requirements. Whilst I am sure, for some, this possess a great challenge, I remind students that from being challenged comes reward.


Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-Curricular

09. From the Head of Creative Arts


We are on the home straight in terms of rehearsals in the lead-up to the holiday break, and the cast has been magnificent in their commitment to mounting Chicago Teen. Students are taking responsibility for their character interpretation by learning lines and lyrics and rehearsing their choreography at lunchtimes with their peers and at home; their commitment is a joy to behold as this story of crime, corruption, and revenge unfolds in the rehearsal room. Well done to all cast members!

As you may be aware, much of Chicago Teen is set in a prison. In light of this, we need a collection of oversized keys with an aged appearance to be part of our set design for the show. Anyone who could help us out with this important prop is encouraged to contact with me via email cosullivan@as.edu.au

Finally, an enormous thank you to Ms Fiona Xeros for her inspiration and leadership of students who have worked in their own time to decorate a shipping container near the MS basketball courts. The mural’s painting is a wonder to witness from inside the teaching spaces of the Hoskins Centre, and we all look forward to its completion later in the term.


Ms Clare O’Sullivan
Head of Creative Arts

10. From the Head of Junior School



Students currently in Years 3 and 5 have, over the last week, completed the four tests that comprise the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). These tests, in writing, reading, conventions of language (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy, provide both government bodies and schools with valuable data that are considered in a range of decision-making, and families a snapshot of how their child(ren) fared in each of these tests at a single point of time. Individual Student Reports (ISRs) summarising a child’s performance in these tests are expected to be made available to families in Term 3. Please visit https://www.nap.edu.au/home and https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/k-10/understanding-the-curriculum/naplan for further information.

We were fortunate to welcome Senior Prefects Bethan Palfreyman and Henry Kirton to the Junior School last Friday. Bethan and Henry spoke of “Blue Week”, which this year will be commemorated in the week immediately following the Easter holidays, and shared some of the many exciting opportunities that will be made available to Junior School students this week. With a different activity planned for each day of the week and a mufti day on Friday, 5 April, this will no doubt be a highlight for all students across the school.

House meetings were also conducted last week with students in each of the House groups spending some time playing a variety of games and activities within the groups. It was a wonderful way to learn more about others from within the same House and share a little about ourselves. The end result? A more empathetic, supportive group of students who feel more connected to one another! Our thanks to the House leaders for facilitating these sessions with teacher support.

The House leaders also shared two upcoming activities that all students are encouraged to participate in, to the best of their abilities:

  1. The inaugural Junior School Talent Show will take place during lunchtime on Tuesday, 2 April (K-2) and Wednesday, 3 April (Years 3-5). House-based auditions for all who wish to participate will take place on Tuesday, 26 March, and Wednesday, 27 March.

A few key aspects of the Talent Show that were outlined to the students include:

  • Performances can be up to 5 minutes in length, although 3 minutes is preferable
  • Group performances of up to three participants will be accepted, with all members from the same House
  • Participants at their own risk can provide props and music
  • All content must be appropriate for a primary-aged audience
  • Talents showcased can include singing, dancing, instrumental music, skits, magic, comedy, martial arts, juggling, but no lip-synching
  • All who enter, even at the audition stage, will earn points for their House.
  1. House Cross-Country takes place on Thursday, April 11, the last day of term. All students from PK upwards are expected to participate, running a set distance in the shortest possible time to earn points for their House and potentially be selected for the School’s cross-country team to compete at the NCIS championships in Term 2. Junior School students will run earlier in the day, and Middle and Senior School students later on. Further details, including distances and approximate start times for each event, will be provided in the coming weeks.

All members of the Junior School community are warmly invited to join us for the return of the Junior School’s Easter Hat Parade, which will take place in Hoskins from 8.50 am on Tuesday, 26 March. Students, families and staff are invited to show off their finest homemade Easter-themed hats in this time.

Remember that Thursday, 28 March, is a Staff Day (student-free day), with classes resuming on Tuesday, 2 April.



Academic Enrichment

The Junior School co-curricular academic enrichment club, consisting of students from Years 3, r and 5 have been preparing for the first competition of the year – the da Vinci Decathlon hosted by TAS later this term. Working in small cross-age groups participants spent time discussing the importance of teamwork, inclusion and empathy before going head-to-head in some general knowledge questions.

We wish our Year 5 team well in this regional final and are already looking forward to participating in a range of other events over the course of this year.

Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School

Upcoming Events

Friday 22 MarchYear 3N AssemblyHoskins Centre (2.45 pm)
Tuesday 26 MarchEaster Hat Parade
Thursday 28 MarchStaff Day
Friday 29 MarchGood FridaySchool closed
Monday 1 AprilEaster MondaySchool closed
Tuesday 2 AprilClasses resume
Thursday 4 Aprilda Vinci Decathlon
Tri-Star Swim
Friday 5 AprilNewling Primary School Slime Fest
Saturday 6 AprilCampus to City Canter
Autumn Festival

Junior School Sport

End of Summer sports 2024

Our summer sports are coming to an end as the end of term approaches. Please continue to contact your coach if you are unable to make a training or game.
Our final training sessions for this term will be in Week 9.

Winter sports
We are currently creating teams for the Winter sports competitions which commence next term. If your child is in Kindergarten – Year 2 and they wish to participate, please email Mrs Christine Wright this week if you have not filled in the nominations form online.

Cross Country
Our Junior School Cross Country event will take place on Thursday, 11th April, our final day this term. Events will take place from 9am from Adamsfield at the front of the school.

Children will run within the TAS boundaries. Children from Years 3 and up will be timed and considered for NCIS Cross Country, which takes place on 8 May at Terranora. Children who qualify for this event will be notified early next term. Children who turn 8, 9 or 10 this year will run 2km. 11-year-olds will run the 3km course.

Mrs Christine Wright
Junior School Sports Coordinator


Community Notices