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Principal's Newsletter, Week 2, Term 2, 2017

posted Aug 3, 2017, 1:54 AM by Unknown user

Congratulations to Ms Fernandez, Aisha Abdu (10), Sabiqul Hoque (10), Christy Ma (11), Daniel Forrest (11), Jeffrey Kennedy (10) and Aniruddh Chennapragada (11) who represented us at the World Gifted and Talented Conference. Our team presented on a “student’s perspective on life at James Ruse”

The presentation followed the Department of Education’s Secretary Mark Scott’s Keynote Presentation in which he mentioned the review into our current DEC’s Gifted policy and development of a new Gifted policy to come out later this year. A transcript of his speech can be found at

Our presentation:

2.1.2 A student perspective snapshot of life at James Ruse Agricultural High School, Sydney, Australia

James Ruse Agricultural High School is a beacon in our education system, as a school for the exceptionally and highly gifted. Programs exist to assist students to reach their potential in academia and to promote positive wellbeing, develop leadership skills and an awareness of global and social justice issues in a culturally diverse context. Students excel in various fields of endeavour as they are provided with a range of opportunities within the curriculum and in the extra-curricular environment. The school has achieved first place in the NSW HSC merit list for the past 21 years.

We presented to a packed audience who were thrilled to hear the views of our students. The students chosen to present were all students who had arrived new to James Ruse when in Year 9 – hence they have a unique perspective on their school.

This week Linus Cooper (11) competed at the International Mathematics Olympiad in Brazil. Linus achieved a Silver medal and solved a problem that only he and one other could solve. Below is Linus’ bio as published by the AMT.

Linus has had a love of numbers, patterns and logic since he was a child. With a keen interest in languages and board games, Linus is looking forward to meeting talented students from all around the world at the International Mathematical Olympiad. When asked about his plans for the future, Linus said, ‘I expect I will be involved in research and algorithms, possibly connected with finance’.

Congratulations to our Physics Olympiad Scholars. Steven Liu and Yuyu Ma both received Bronze medals in the IPhO.

Our NAIDOC week assembly was a highlight. Our guests Des Barton and Jo Cavanagh engaged our students through dance and the playing of the didgeridoo.  Our guest speaker, Edward Santow commenced his five-year term as Human Rights Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission in August 2016.  Prior to joining the Commission, Ed was chief executive of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, a leading non-profit organisation that promotes human rights through strategic litigation, policy development and education.

As Human Rights Commissioner, Ed leads the Commission’s work on marriage equality and other human rights issues affecting LGBTI Australians. Ed also leads the Commission’s work on the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) and the Commission’s work on freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of religion.

Edward gave a thought provoking and interested speech to our students.

At the end of last term, I was invited to a number of fabulous year meetings. The student performances were dazzling.

We received another beautiful email recently praising another student from 7T – Hiya Patel. Congratulations to all the students who regularly show such inspiring values.

Hey James Ruse,

I just wanted to acknowledge the great values you have imbibed in your students. I'm saying this from my experience at Parramatta Station today. I was waiting at the station when a train arrived and when the doors opened a blind, elderly man was trying to get out but people were crowding around the doors. Then a girl in a James Ruse uniform cut through the crowd and not only helped the man get off the train but also lead him down the elevator. The whole time she was having a polite conversation with the man. When she came back to the platform I asked her what her name was and what grade she was in. She said that her name was Hiya and she was in Grade 7.

It’s great to see such children who still help other people around them and I'd like to congratulate your school for having such students and imbibing these values in them.


On Monday we celebrate our Year 8 Ginko Writing Project. The 6 winners from James Ruse will read their work to a large audience.

On Tuesday night the CoJR hosted four ex-students who shared their journey into medicine. The lecture theatre was full of both students and parents who gained great insight into becoming and working as a doctor.

Dr Rashi Minocha

Rashi graduated James Ruse in 2007. She is currently training to be a Dermatologist at Royal North Shore Hospital. She has completed her medical degree at Newcastle University in 2012. Since then she has obtained a Master of Medicine and is currently completing a Master of Philosophy in Dermatology research. She is an associate lecturer at the University of Sydney and a keen participant in various community organisations.

Dr Frances Yuen

My name is Frances Yuen, and I graduated from James Ruse in 2010. I completed my MBBS at the University of Adelaide, which has become my firm home away from home. After 6 amazing years, I decided to make the move back to Sydney for my internship. I am currently working at Mona Vale Hospital right next to the Northern Beaches of Sydney and am loving life - I can see the ocean from our wards every day! As for my future, I'm not sure where I will end up or what kind of doctor I will be, but the beauty of medicine is that there are so many different avenues to choose from that you are bound to find something right for you and your lifestyle. 

Vincent An

Vincent graduated from James Ruse in 2010, and entered the combined Science/Medicine program at USyd in 2011. He is currently in his final year of medicine and will be working at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in 2018.

Dr Ben Wan

Ben graduated from James Ruse in 2009 and went on to study Medicine at the University of New South Wales. He is currently a Resident Medical Officer at Royal North Shore Hospital with an interest in Critical Care Medicine. 

Congratulations to our bands who achieved fabulous success at the NSW School Band Festival last weekend.

Wind Orchestra - Gold!

Symphonic Band - Bronze

Jazz Orchestra - Silver

Thank you to Mr Richard Brus and our conductors.

It was wonderful to hear that our Year 11 Debating team won the Western Sydney Regional Final.

Have a wonderful week

Megan Connors