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Principal's Newsletter, week 4, term 4, 2014

posted Nov 13, 2014, 1:49 AM by Unknown user
Late last week we received the fabulous news that Sean Lau (Class of 2007) became our 2nd Rhodes Scholar. His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor of New South Wales, announced Sean Lau as the 2015 NSW Rhodes Scholar. The Governor also announced that Miss Emily Burke (also of the class of 2007) is the NSW candidate for consideration of an Australia-at-Large Rhodes Scholarship. We wish Sean our heartfelt congratulations and wish Emily luck in her next round of interviews.
Sean completed undergraduate studies in philosophy and law in 2012 at the University of New South Wales, where he was extensively involved in Christian campus ministry and in mentoring first year law students. He also volunteered at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, and at a faith-based community care centre. Since graduating, Sean has been working in law while studying theology part-time by distance education at the University of Nottingham. He has lectured in Australian constitutional law, and worked as Associate, or Law Clerk, to Justice Virginia Bell AC at the High Court of Australia. He is currently the Legal Officer to the Chair of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Our 1st Rhodes Scholar, Danny Sriskandarajah, graduated in 1993 and was our school captain. Danny received the Rhodes Scholarship in 1998. His career is truly impressive and inspirational. I have included his biography below:


Dr Dhananjayan (Danny) Sriskandarajah has been Secretary General and CEO of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation since January 2013. His previous posts include Director of the Royal Commonwealth Society, Interim Director of the Commonwealth Foundation, and Deputy Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research. Danny is the author of numerous reports and academic articles on international migration and economic development, writes and appears regularly in the media on a range of topics. He sits on several boards, including those of the Baring Foundation, International Alert and Ockenden International, and has been a consultant to several international organisations. He holds a degree from the University of Sydney, and an MPhil and DPhil from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. In 2012, he was honoured by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader.

In researching Danny’s career I have had the privilege of reading his articles – google Danny to find these articles. Hopefully we will meet this wonderful person one day. What an inspiration Sean, Emily and Danny are to our current students. Mr Lisle Brown, our retired Head Teacher Agriculture, was one of Sean’s referees and also reminisced fondly of Danny’s time at Ruse.


This week I attended the Selective Principal’s Conference. This conference is a fabulous resource as we are able to share ideas and strategies to better educate our gifted students. I presented on our student voice project – EmpowerEd. Our EmpowerEd team have surveyed all students in years 7-10 in regards to their learning. Students are presently working on recommendations to share with staff.


Science and Engineering Challenge – Congratulations to our Year 10 students, Mrs Pooviah and Mr Kowalski who have journeyed to Adelaide to represent NSW in the National Championships of the Science and Engineering challenge.  After a very tight and intense competition our team were awarded the prize of First Runners Up - a fabulous achievement. Mrs Pooviah and Mr Kowalski were very proud of all students.


It is with great pleasure that I pass on that our JRAHS Ag Enrichment Team’s entry is a finalist in the 2014 Archibull Prize Awards.  The magnificent effort of Ms Hameed, Mr Goggin, Mr Pronger and Year 10 students in producing such an inspiring entry is fantastic. The Grand Champion will be announced on the 14th November 2014.


The Department of Education has granted us approval to begin building our gymnasium. Although this will be a long process, approval was our first very important step. Our science lab plans have gone to tender and we hope to begin the renovation in the school holidays.


As we are planning for and resourcing 2015, we would appreciate if all families could ensure that all invoices are paid before December. If assistance is required please let me know.


This year we are breaking from tradition and will hold our Year 10 Formal at The Epping Club. Students have requested this change and after careful consideration we have agreed. If successful this local venue will host our annual event. A permission note will come home with Year 10 students. Only current Year 10 James Ruse students may attend.





Have a wonderful week

Megan Connors