2nd June 2023  
Reconciliation Week 2023
We started Reconciliation Week with a school Liturgy to reflect on the importance of our First Nations culture and recognising past wrongs.  Through the week classes have focused their learning on reconciliation and each class decorated their classroom door in the spirit of reconciliation. We ended our week by sharing an aboriginal flag donut together raising funds for the Tjindu Foundation.
5W recon donut.jpg
from the Principal ..........
You can’t be what you can’t see.

This week I have been reflecting a lot on this concept about the importance of visibility. I had the privilege of attending a Career Mentors Breakfast early yesterday morning at OLSH College, prior to travelling to the Primary Principals Conference where I’m currently situated. The motto of OLSH College is “You can’t be what you can’t see” and they held a Careers Breakfast where students could meet professionals from different industries.  All the career mentors were old scholars of OLSH. A very powerful model of ‘making the future visible’ where former students have gone on to realise their dreams in different career paths.

At our Principals conference this week, we have had amazing speakers, including Kurt Fearnley AO, Dr Lea Waters and Dr Simon Breakspear. This concept of ‘visibility’ has been a common thread in their script for me as I have been listening intently to them.

Kurt Fearnley is an Olympic athlete and passionate disability advocate. He spoke powerfully about disability and the impact that his own primary school teacher and primary principal had on his own life. Their decision to embrace him within their community was life-changing for him and his family. He spoke about the importance of presence; of being visible. When he visits countries all over the world, he intentionally visits children with disabilities, to speak with them and for them to see and experience the hope and promise that their life offers. Kurt’s life story is simply astounding with what he has accomplished and the message he shares is truly inspirational.

Lea Waters PhD is an Australian academic, psychologist, author and world expert in school psychology and parenting. She is the Director of Visible Wellbeing and the founding Director of the centre for Positive Psychology.  Lea spoke to us about wellbeing and strengths; using strengths-based approaches in schools, identifying and amplifying our recognised strengths, both individually and collectively. We also focused on the language of wellbeing, teaching and providing our children with the vocabulary and explicit understanding of wellbeing; thereby making it visible.

At St Thomas, you will know that our school has been on a journey of Visible Learning for a number of years. Our developed Learner Dispositions are a direct result of this journey. Just last week we received confirmation that our school has been successful in achieving accreditation from Corwin as an Accredited Visible Learning School. This is a wonderful recognition of the many and sustained efforts towards pedagogical change in our school. My gratitude to Mrs Laura Donnellan for her key work in driving this and securing this accreditation for our school. Laura’s work around Visible Learning has ensured that our students ‘can be what they can see’ through the multitude of ways learning has been made visible in our school.

This week during Reconciliation Week we have enjoyed a number of initiatives that have helped our community come to a deeper understanding and experience of Reconciliation. My thanks to our students and staff who have contributed to this week’s activities.

In closing, I share some staffing news that our Year 6 teacher and Leader of Learning, Mr Christian O’Dwyer will be leaving the St Thomas School community at the end of this term. Christian has accepted a position at Annesley Junior School  and we wish him all the best as he begins a new stage in his educational career. We acknowledge the many and generous contributions that Christian has made to our school community over the past 15 years. His impact in the classroom, with students and families, as well as contributions to staff professional learning and school improvement has been substantial and he will be greatly missed. We wish Christian and his family every blessing in this next chapter that awaits.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Belinda Burford


School Calendar

Mon 5th          Monday Music Sessions after school

Wed 7th         Term 3 Reception Transition Morning

Thurs 8th       Quiz Night - Casual Clothes Day

Fri 9th            Student Free Day

Mon 12th        Public Holiday

Wed 14th       Term 3 Reception Transition Morning

Wed 14th       Instrumental Music Concerts

St Thomas TERM 2 FAMILY Calendar 2023.pdf

Trinity Feast Day.            

Many Christians in Australia celebrate Trinity Sunday, which is the first Sunday after Pentecost.

It is one of the few feasts that are celebrated as a doctrine instead of an event.

Doctrine means teaching. The Church specifically uses the word Doctrine to mean all teaching that has to do with matters of faith and morals but are not directly revealed by Christ.

It is also symbolic of the unity of the Trinity.

Pope Francis wrote on Twitter that the mystery of the Trinity tells us that we do not have a ‘solitary God up there in heaven, far away’. But that God is ‘the Father who gave us his Son, who became human like us and who sends his own Spirit to be even closer to us’.

Reflecting upon the Trinity is always a challenging mystery to define with students but it is at the centre point of our Catholic faith.

Catholics believe in one God known as three persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is a relationship of love and unity. The Holy Spirit is the expression of the loving relationship between the Father and the Son.

The Holy Spirit is active in the world and is recognisable whenever humanity accepts the invitation to live in right relationship with God and all creation.

At St Thomas School we are building relationship of love and unity with God through our everyday class prayers, assemblies, community prayers, class and all school masses, charity works and our positive interaction with each other.

Glory be to the Father,
Who by His almighty power and love created me,
making me in the image and likeness of God.

Glory be to the Son,
Who by His Precious Blood delivered me from hell,
and opened for me the gates of heaven.

Glory be to the Holy Spirit,
Who has sanctified me in the sacrament of Baptism,
and continues to sanctify me
by the graces I receive daily from His bounty.

Glory be to the Three adorable Persons of the Holy Trinity,
now and forever.


Sebestyen Maglai


Monday Music Sessions

Each term we have our Monday music sessions, where classes are given the opportunity to showcase what they have been learning in their music lessons at St. Thomas.

Come along to see and listen to the students perform.

When: Monday 6th June 2023, 2.45-3.15pm

Where: the undercroft; outside the Mercy Hall

Who: Yr 4, Yr 3 and Junior Choir performing

Instrumental Concerts Term 2

We have two instrumental concerts this term on Wednesday 14th June 2023.

Concert One is from 5.00-6.15pm

Concert Two is from 6.30-7.15pm

Concert One is full.

There are still a few spaces available in Concert Two.  If your child would like to perform an item for this concert, please ask your music tutor ASAP to be included.

Susan Czabayski

Music Teacher.

from Chair of the School Board
This week, I had the honour of presenting with my friend Gill Hicks at an engagement evening. Gill is an incredible person who lost both her legs in the 2005 London bombing. Her speech was titled "Resilience - A raw conversation with Gill on how Resilience can help parents."

But here's the thing: Gill doesn't really like the word "resilience." To her, it suggests that you have to find some secret solution to overcome hurdles and present it to the world like a magic trick. It is her belief that we have it, always, within ourselves. There, ready to use whenever we need it. So, if calling it "resilience" helps us acknowledge that inner strength, that's fine. But what really matters is knowing that we can tap into it whenever we need to and deciding how to use it.

The lesson I learnt was it's about embracing life and making choices even when things get tough. We always have that power inside us, even though we may not always use it.

It’s totally okay to feel frustrated, defeated or think that life is unfair. But what matters is how we handle those emotions and what we do afterwards. Remarkably, Gill no longer complains, about anything. Because it is the thing that she complains about today, that she may lose tomorrow.

Let's be real, parenting is tough. It's a journey full of ups and downs, like a wild roller coaster ride. I look at Gill and wonder if we really must go through such extreme hardships to appreciate life and have that unwavering strength. Can't we learn from her now? Can't we start living each day with a determination to conquer whatever challenges come our way?

There's no after-party in life; the party is happening right here, right now. Once we realize that we can't rewind or redo any day, that's when life becomes truly magical.

If you're interested in watching Gill Hicks' powerful talk on parenting, shoot me an email and I'll happily share the link with you.

Trish Jarvis

Chair - School Board


Michael Grose, a parenting expert, author and former teacher, says, ‘Resilience is the art of staying steadfast in the face of life’s difficulties. It is the ability to bungy-jump your way through life when you experience loss, disappointment and hardship. We all want our children to be resilient. It will help them deal with some of life’s smaller and bigger hurdles.

In his book “Bringing Out Your Child’s Resilience,” Michael suggests that there are 21 attributes which contribute to the development of resilience.

Follow this link to discover all 21 attributes…

St Thomas Resilience Series by Michael Grose- 00 Attributes of Resilience.pdf

We will aim to provide ongoing information and resources on these 21 attributes to support our St Thomas families in the great work of growing their children!

Follow this link to access the sixth attribute… Managing Emotions….

St Thomas Resilience Series by Michael Grose- 06 Managing Emotions.pdf

Hi Everyone,

We have had a great start to our Nude food month this week and are excited to have some baseline data to work on for the next few weeks with a small celebration of our changes happening at the end of the term. In total we had 157 pieces of waste brought from home from 13 classes this Tuesday and we are aiming to halve this number each week for the next 3 weeks in an attempt to change our buying habits at home. Thank you to everyone that has started making a change at home already. The buzz amongst the students has been really positive so far here at school.

So what is this ‘Nude Food’ business?

Nude Food is food without excessive packaging such as commercial packaging of a single serve item, cling wraps and aluminium foils. This excessive packaging generally goes to landfill, so it is not environmentally friendly. Many fresh foods are classified as nude foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. It also includes any food that is packed in a reusable container.

The idea of Nude food is not to move the problem with waste from the school yard to our home but rather educate our children and families to change the way we buy packaged items in the supermarket in the first place. By buying in bulk and using reusable containers, not wrapping sandwiches and snacks in glad wrap and choosing healthier and unpackaged snacks and lunches, we believe we can set our children up to be ecologically sustainable citizens of the future.

We know that this isn’t as convenient for families when it comes to packing lunches as it comes with extra washing of containers after school and some thought about how we can choose to package more things sustainably but our kids believe the extra effort is worth the reward and we are in it for the long game!

Some of the benefits and tips for a successful transition to Nude food are:

·       Nutrition - Help your children to make nutritious choices and involve them in creating their own waste-less lunches. Try packing lunches the night before and storing them in the fridge overnight - if you’ve got time of course!

·       Choice - Discuss with your child what they like to eat and how much. Bin audits in schools across South Australia show large quantities of unopened pre-packaged foods; including single-serve yogurts, cheese sticks, sandwiches, uneaten apples/fruit and many near full fruit boxes being thrown away. This costs your family money as well as creating waste.

·       Snack Size Pieces - Cut up fruit and vegetables and pack them in reusable containers so that children can eat some and save the rest for later. It's easier for children to eat a wedge or two and then reseal the container and a rubber band around sliced apple will prevent browning.

·       Food Waste - Encourage your children to bring home uneaten food to eat after school. Discuss with children how much they can reasonably eat in one day. Often children throw uneaten food away because they don’t want to upset the person who packed the lunch or don’t have time to eat it all.

·       Buy in Bulk - If your children have chips, popcorn, biscuits or other snacks try buying a larger bulk pack (rather than the more expensive so called ‘convenience’ packs with lots of packaging) and have your children put the same quantity into a reusable labelled container that they bring home each day. This saves your family money too and as we know, times are tough!

·       Water Rules - Is it necessary to have sugary or milky drinks at school? Avoid buying drinks in packaging that cannot be resealed.  Many children take just a few sips at snack time and discard the rest.

Education through conversation

By having the conversation and making the changes now, we can educate our children to be more sustainable in the future. Habits often stick and our children are the best vessels for change.

Read the article below from Kidspot and Kids on the Coast for further ideas and inspiration:



Thanks for being involved in our mission, we are hoping the small changes we make now will stick and become a trend for other schools and we can influence others around us.

Nick Mezzino and the St Thomas Eco-Warriors

Term 2 fee payment due Friday 19th May 

Thank you for your prompt payment.

Canberra Camp – Payment Reminder

To families that have elected to pay for Canberra camp by instalments, please note the following due dates. The full cost of the camp is $1,800.

$300 deposit due by Friday 10th March

Instalment 1 - $300 due by 1st May 2023

Instalment 2 - $300 due by 1st June 2023

Instalment 3 - $300 due by 1st July 2023

Instalment 4 - $300 due by 1st August 2023

Instalment 5 - $300 due by 1st September 2023

Alternatively, payment as lump sum by 1st July 2023.

If you would like an updated statement or have any queries regarding fees please do not hesitate to contact me.


Jodi Jansons

Business Manager


Please see the poster attached for the latest news from Camp Australia regarding Pupil Free day next Friday 9th June.

 PFD Poster 2023_Jun_09 St Thomas.pdf

We are seeking donations of IKEA Kitchen Sets.  If you have one you no longer need we'd love it for our sandpit.