Aurora College

Telephone1300 287 629

From the Principal's desk

At the heart of every great school is a mutually supportive relationship between the school and its community. At the core of every school’s community is the Parents and Citizens Association.

The Aurora College Parents and Citizens Association (ACPCA) is the state’s first virtual ‘P and C’. ACPCA was voted into being on Wednesday 16 December 2020. At the inaugural Annual General Meeting held on Wednesday 1 September 2021, a new Executive team was elected. On your behalf, I would like to congratulate and thank the following parents and citizens for the commitment they have made to our school:

  • Leise Farquharson (President)
  • Narelle Myers (Secretary)
  • Tim Hart (Vice President)
  • Wendy Zanon (Vice President)
  • Nicole Hart (Treasurer)
  • Marisol Martinreyes (Vice Treasurer)
  • Seamus McCartney (Stage 3 Opportunity Class Coordinator)

I look forward to working with this energetic and dedicated team and I have no doubt that ACPCA will continue to flourish under their leadership. I would also like to thank David Dubois, ACPCA’s outgoing President, for his time and hard work in establishing our Parents and Citizens Association. We wish you and your family all the very best in the future, David.

To join ACPCA, please visit

As the Paul Kelly and Kevin Carmody song lyrics go, from little things, big things grow. Next year will be our eighth year of operation, and with the Year 5 and Year 11 enrolment processes still to complete, we expect our total enrolment in 2022 to be well above 600 students. Given our first cohort comprised only 165 students, it is clear that an increasing number of families are placing great value on all our school offers students in rural and remote communities.

The map above, shows the locations of our new (2022) students in Years 7, 8 9, 10 and 12. Once again, our school is reaching into communities that have not previously shared enrolments with Aurora College. On behalf of the entire Aurora community, I extend a very warm welcome to each and every student who will be joining us for the first time in 2022. Term 4 will see a number of opportunities for our new students and their families to learn more about our school and to meet some of their classmates and teachers.

As a result of the most recent advice from NSW Health regarding the duration of COVID-19 restrictions, the Opportunity Class Placement Test scheduled for 6 October 2021 has been delayed. I am advised by the Department that new testing arrangements for students will be announced as soon as possible. Applicants should continue to check the NSW Department of Education website for current advice.

A reminder to current Year 10 students that applications to study one or more Year 11 subjects with Aurora College close on 22 October 2021. For further details, please visit

This week saw the return to face-to-face learning for many of our students. I’m sure this return was met with great excitement at seeing ‘home’ school friends and teachers. The eventual safe return to school for all students and staff involves a number of elements, including restrictions of movement between age cohorts, vaccinations of staff and students, mask wearing and staggered start and finish times. Details of the framework for COVID safe school operations is available on the Department’s website at

Finally, I want to wish all our Year 12 students the very best for their upcoming HSC examinations. It has been a particularly bumpy road for the 2021 cohort, but each of you has shown great determination to complete your secondary education. I hope the completion of the HSC is the next step in happy and fulfilling lives for all of you.

Enjoy the school holidays.

Chris Robertson | Principal

Deputy Principal's report

Term 3

This term has yet again been a challenging time for our students, schools, and communities as we have managed lockdowns, restrictions and interruptions that have impacted on teaching and learning, as well as every other aspect of our lives. I encourage all our staff, students, and families to take a break these holidays to ensure that you are well rested and ready to return for Term 4.

Farewell and good luck, Year 12

Despite all the issues that Year 12 have experienced throughout their HSC journey last year and this year they are now standing on the threshold of the end of one journey and the beginning of another. We encourage them to continue to be engaged and inspired and to remain connected, global citizens. The achievement of all students is to be commended and we wish them all the best of luck in their future endeavours.

All partner schools have been sent a graduation certificate to issue to our shared Year 12 students. We have asked schools to present these at their graduation assemblies. Students will need to check with their home school when these assemblies will take place.

HSC written examinations have been delayed and will now begin on Tuesday 9 November 2021. The 2021 Higher School Certificate timetable lists the dates and times of all written examinations. Year 12 students may also download their personal HSC examination timetable from the Students Online website.

Both parents and students need to read and be aware of the COVID-safe exam rules which are in place at partner schools to ensure the safety of students during this period.

Aurora teachers will be available during their usual Aurora lesson times up to the commencement of the HSC examinations to provide assistance to students. Students are encouraged to contact their teachers during this time to ensure they maximise their learning opportunities in preparation for their exams.

Semester 2 reports for Year 12 have been issued through the parent portal in Sentral. These reports show the progress that each student has made towards achieving specific outcomes in their HSC course. This report is issued independently of the home school reports for the other subjects studied by each student.

If you have any concerns regarding your child’s progress or well-being, please contact the coordinating office by phone on 1300 287 629 or email (

Study Skills Handbook

Aurora College has recently purchased an online subscription to ‘Study Skills Handbook’. Check out some study tips, in this edition of the Auracle.

Subscription details to access this resource were emailed to all parents and students. If you have misplaced the subscription details with the password, please contact the school.

There’s life after Year 12 exams for students and parents!

reach out

As approximately 200,000 Year 12 students near the end of high school, leading digital mental health organisation, ReachOut Australia, is reminding young people and their parents that there is life after Year 12 exams.

Prominent Australians, including actor Rahart Adams and journalist Sarah Harris have joined the likes of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, former Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Osher Günsberg to contribute video messages of support for this year’s Year 12 students. For the first time, ReachOut is also providing tips and information for parents of year 12 students.

What’s coming up next term?

  • Applications for entry into Year 7 in 2023 will open in mid-October 2021 and close in mid-November 2021. The placement test will be held on 10 March 2022. Information will be updated in the coming weeks on the  Selective High Schools site.
  • Applications for Year 11 (2022) close on Friday 22 October 2021.
  • The next Residential School has been cancelled due to Covid-19 and in its place an iRes has been organised. There will be more details to come.

Carolyn McMurtrie | Deputy Principal

Faculty - Opportunity Class

Mechanical Pollinators

This term, students have been discovering the importance of bees in our society. As part of our “No Bees No Future” unit, students have gained a depth of understanding by undertaking a weekly pollinator count in their own backyards and listening to a range of experts in our Masterclass series on topics such as native bees, soil science and bee communication.

Students are now using their understanding of pollination to create a mechanical pollinator that can travel over 1 metre, pollinating 3 flowers. Students work in collaboration with their teachers and peers to apply design thinking skills to design, prototype and iterate various models. Students are currently completing their designs, providing clear labels and descriptions of their intended designs. You’ll see below a range of videos and diagrams explaining how pollination works, the importance of pollination and some excellent designs.

Masterclass – Cool Bees

Our recent masterclass with Dr Theo Colin from Macquarie University challenged what students understood about bees and healthy hives. Dr Colin shared his research about the importance of keeping hives at the right temperature to ensure the safety of the hive and of course, the Queen bee. Thermal images allowed students to see how the temperature variation outside impacts hives. We also looked at methods bees use to keep cool during the Summer months.

eSafety Commissioner – Child Protection Week

Our long-standing partnership with the eSafety Commissioner has supported students across NSW with being safe online. On the 6th and 8th of September, Aurora College hosted the eSafety Commissioner for Child Protection Week, presenting Be an eSafe Kid: Online Boundaries. Over 100 schools participated in this event with approximately 1000 students connecting from home. We are looking forward to our next event in November. Further details for this event to be advised.


As you are aware, sadly our residential has been cancelled for 2021, but we are very excited to be hosting an online iRes event from October 19-21. There are many challenging and thought provoking sessions planned, including a Year 5 teams challenge for students to outwit and problem solve their way though brain puzzles, a masterclass with the ‘Surfing Scientist’, a Maths and Magic show and much more. We also have two evening sessions planned for families to join us with our Year 5 disco as the feature highlight.

More details for iRes and variations to routine to come.

It’s always fantastic to find new online resources that teachers can use with our students. We were recently introduced to, an online platform where each student has their own individual whiteboard. It’s a great tool to get a snapshot of each student’s understanding and the next steps for learning. Differentiation for students is possible with this tool, as teachers are able to provide individual tasks and questions, specifically catered to student needs. Classes have been using this in their maths lessons, drawing angles and manipulating the online protractors. We have also enjoyed sharing this tool with our Aurora College Coordinators and we look forward to seeing the ways they are using these in classes.

Serena McLean | Assistant Principal

Faculty - English, HSIE and Languages

Year 7

Students in Year 7 have recently completed their latest assessment tasks on Shakespeare’s ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’. As part of this task, students were required to watch an excerpt of the play and respond to it by identifying various language features and techniques. Students were also assessed for their understanding of the Elizabethan era, responding to questions about the Globe Theatre and the different groups of society that attended Shakespeare’s plays. Overall teachers have been very pleased with the quality of student responses. Check out some of the cool memes and comic strips students have come up with based on our studies this term!

As the term comes to an end, students are now focusing on their next assessment tasks as teachers prepare for the delivery of their next unit of work. Although due next term, the final assessment task for Year 7 is a portfolio of works that students have had the opportunity to work on throughout the year.

Students will be presenting four pieces of writing within these portfolios:

  • A reading task
  • A writing task
  • A reflection task
  • Another writing piece of their own choosing

We look forward to reading all the creative pieces that students come up with.

Year 8

In Term 3, Year 8 have been studying advertising texts and the language of persuasion. Their assessment task was to create an advertising campaign for a product using persuasive language and visual techniques. They have also learned video editing using WeVideo and graphic design using Canva.

Year 9

One of the key reasons Shakespeare has remained popular for some 400 years is the universal ideas explored in his plays. Whether it be the destructive nature of ambition, young love which goes against family values or simply a playful romp full of fools and foolishness, these common elements are as relevant today as the day they were written. But what happens when a play presents more controversial ideas? The Taming of the Shrew is a play which is rather more problematic, as it appears to condone sexist attitudes and behaviours towards women. In Term 3, students interrogated this text, questioning whether the play is indeed sexist, or whether it mocks the sexism of its time, with strong arguments for both interpretations. Students then looked at a modern adaptation of the play, the film 10 Things I Hate About You, examining how the writers and director crafted a text true to the narrative and spirit of Shakespeare’s original, but one which presents a far more reassuring image of the place of women in a relationship and society as a whole. This is some of Year 9’s work, discussing these challenging but important issues.

Year 10

Slam Poetry and Talking it up…

I realised that our words don’t have to be heavy to hold weight.

It depends more on how you make them…fall.

– Luka Lesson.

Year 10 recently have examined the concepts behind a very modern style of poetry called slam and performance poetry. By looking at current trends in the composition of poetry, our students have reflected on the importance of context on meaning making. We also looked at how ideas in poetry, such as epic poetry, can transcend time and be relevant to modern audiences, no matter what their background is socially, culturally or intellectually.

Our Year 10 students were asked to record a speech via Flip Grid, using the platform to embed images and words while they spoke. Students composed a TED style talk, using a hook to capture the audience’s attention and a call to action at the end of the speech.

Finally, students watched each other’s’ presentations and recorded a review via Flip Grid looking at the strengths and areas of improvement for two speeches. This is a valuable activity for students to see each other’s’ work and engage critically with the content. We are immensely proud of our students’ achievements in this task.

Year 11 English Extension

Playing games and having fun while learning!

Extension 1 English took a break from stressing out about exams and studying to play Dungeons and Dragons in class. While you may think this is slacking off, on the contrary this game requires a level of world-building and story-telling, planning and strategizing that has helped our students understand the detail that goes into building a Literary World – our next unit for the beginning of Term 4.

Our characters set sail through pirate infested waters and encountered a scurvy crew of ghost pirates. At this point of our epic voyage, we are battling the Ghost Captain Johnny, and seeking out his hidden treasure. Despite Lucy’s best attempt to befriend Captain Johnny, it seems that our band of friends must battle him to the death.

Each student has developed a character with a series of features, skills and personality traits that they will continue to quest with. It has been a wonderfully fun way to develop crucial story-telling skills!

Year 12 English Advanced

Year 12 Advanced English are working on Module C – The Craft of Writing.

This activity involved bringing a childhood object which sparked a memory to class. Year 12 had a good laugh at Mrs Hillyer’s 15 year old self pretending to eat a giant cardboard cut out of a cornetto ice-cream to amuse her sisters. Students bought ballet shoes, creepy dolls, books, albums, photos and a delicate hinged egg.

The students were asked to describe the memory with the class before crafting an evocative piece in 300 words

Here are some of the results:


The sting almost made me want to vomit. A patch of evil little green spikes, waiting to prey on my small uncovered feet. Digging themselves immediately into my sole and arch with the rapidity of lightning. I hopped around, a small wounded rabbit. My tunic dress floated in the breeze. I howled. Life was not fair.

Dad never wore shoes either. Long brown dreadlocks, bleached honey golden by the sun. Leather necklaces with a small crystal pendant. Ruffed-up buttoned shirt, non-ironed, nonchalant. His feet were hardened with the skin of his soles cracked like old hide. He wouldn’t have even felt the stinging nettles.

The other kids were running around on the grass, soft as carpet, green as the jade of Dad’s pendant, cool as wet sand. Within its dewy tufts dwelled stinging nettles that deceived its innocent exterior. It was like I’d sat down on my leg for too long. Pins and needles but more mean. I had to hop on one leg over to Mum really quickly and quietly. I would have yelled out louder than I did but the other kids were there and I didn’t want to look like anything was wrong and I never really wanted to draw too much attention to myself when I wasn’t at home. Mum called me cautious and shy but that made me annoyed just because I could never spell cautious properly.

The wet grass had made the edges of my jeans slightly damp. They clung to my ankles, providing small relief to the burn and sting that still ravaged my foot. I sat down next to Mum, plonking my bottom down on the concrete warmed by the slivers of afternoon sun. A random lady brought me an ice-pack from the CWA freezer. I held it hesitantly against my foot and let the prickles of ice slowly soothe the sting.

Another girl had brought out skipping ropes. I discarded the ice-pack after a few minutes and walked over to join them. I would have run, but there were stinging nettles.


When I bought the golden Egyptology book I didn’t even like Ancient Egypt; I wanted the book because it was pretty. The red gem was catching the dim lights of the little bookstore tucked into the corner shop in the shopping centre, drawing more of my attention than anything else about the book. Regardless, I got the book and the first time I read it, I couldn’t put it down. After that, I would often carry the book around, proudly showing it off to anyone who would listen and reading it whenever I got the chance. The most vivid memory I have of reading this book as a kid was sitting in the hallway of the primary school my mother worked at, back pressed against the cold paint on the concrete wall, itchy carpet irritating my legs as I read. The book was a familiar weight, each page the same as it had been last time it was opened, no new surprises. Just information about a topic I had become obsessed with remarkably quickly and the tales of a supposed explorer to keep me company.

Task 2 – The sand was gritting, grainy, grating, as tiny hands plunged into the ground and shovelled sand out of the rapidly collapsing hole. Wet sand found a new home beneath fingernails and cold waves rushed in and out, destroying any castles in their way. Even the bucket of water and sand being used to construct intricate towers was knocked over, being filled with cloudy ocean water as the waves retreated again.

Someone screams from further up the beach, whether it was from the cold water or something else would remain unknown. All focus was on the hole in the sand, surrounded by people. Four small children scooped handfuls of sand out and tossed them onto the sand behind everyone, but it was to no avail. The hole had been dug too close to the water, an ill fated calculation in an attempt to avoid the dry, packed sand further up the beach. Plus, being close to the water was supposed to keep people cool despite the beating rays of sun falling across everyone.

Now the ocean was the greatest threat to the excavation occurring. Any weight near the walls of the hole sunk down into the ground, cold water greeting them from the bottom. More sand fell inwards in greater amounts that anyone could remove, leaving the children fighting a losing battle against the tide. However, more handfuls of sand were flung into haphazard piles while adults watched on, talking about things that were far less interesting than trying to frantically dig through to the other side of the world.

They all knew this attempt wouldn’t be much more successful than the last, or the one before that, but that hadn’t stopped anyone before. Eventually they would hit the harder sand away from the water’s reach, but there was still sand to be removed before then.


Memories are never perfect. Even if the moment is, the edges of consciousness blur and warp. Like ruined film the corners smoke and burn, racing towards the centre of the image until only a wispy essence of what was remains. If even a photo cannot remain pristine; collecting dust and yellow in a forgotten frame so what hope does a mental snapshot have.

In these hallowed halls I chase after the last of these figments. The torch is dimming. Flickering in the cold rush of new information. Clinical ideas. Amines. Projectile motion. Fiscal policy. The warmth is leaching away so I run.

I run until time slows and stands on end.

Captured here is one such dying moment.

Cabinets and bookshelves line every wall and have crept across the floor to form an antique forest of dry dust tokens of golden times. They loom above. Long shadows sweeping across the floor but they do not frighten the young girl I see before me.

No, she is happy.

Beaming as she races around. But not too quickly.

Don’t break anything.

Fascinated, she spins with the waltzing dust motes, swirling until the gem is spotted and then she stops.

Eyes wide and curious. Sucked into the velvety blue depths, tracing the faded gold. Not concerned at all with the figures or the broken hinge. Just the idea. The premise. The hidden space.

A spot for treasures. For safe-keeping. For never letting go.

And now the girl is pure delight and pride. What a find! What a moment! See the beckoning grin, infectious with its joy. See the other figures before blurry and grey come to life. They each spring forward to share in the moment. Congratulations! Beautiful! How lovely! They come forward to support.

But the stale dry air fades as the last moment stands still. Colours leach out of the comic books and the comforting warmth is raked with icy fingers.

Your legs are cramped and tired.

You cannot run anymore.


Every memory I’ve ever experienced lies at my fingertips. They are compressed into two 4 x 6 inch albums. I lift the cover of the first, the plastic sleeves crackle as they peel off each other. In the first sleeve is a card, “my name is Laura Patricia Margaret Mannes” named after my two Grandmothers (the fifth child, my parents couldn’t pick just one). I flick the page and it crunches, I’m a newborn.

My siblings and parents are thrilled. A few pages on is my Baptism, in the church I spent a bit of time at during primary school, but never went on Sundays, we had too many kids in our family for that.

Then there’s my mum bathing me, we still have the same bath, however I’m a little bigger.

I flick past more pictures of me being an absolute angel, and my grandparents adoring me. Now I’m 1, my cake has bright pink icing, which my hands are covered in. I swap to the second book, I’m a bit older now and in a tree. I remember trying to drag my siblings along with me to climb it but they never did. Now it’s Christmas time, in 2007. I vaguely remember some of this now.

My sister and my two girl cousins are in the carpark of the town oval. Its pouring rain and there’s puddles everywhere. We’re jumping around and having a blast, no idea that this was the last Christmas we’d spend with my sister, and the last time we’d see rain before the drought.

I flick again, it’s the 40th birthday of Coleambally, about a week after my sister’s funeral. I’m running around the oval with my cousin in a Coleambally demons’ football gurnsey from the 80’s, they’re called the blues now. I keep flicking, i’m at school, playing netball, I’m throwing the shotput at my primary school athletics carnival, I’m hula hooping. I’m at my confirmation, with my grandparents, and my sister’s friend Megan, maybe i should send her the photo. Flick, past more Christmas’s and birthdays and presentations, and then the page is blank and they’re gone.


Ballet Shies

The train clunks, the heat from bodies cramp together fills the space with discomfort, and my legs peel of the dull purple vinyl seats with every small movement. The overwhelming environment fills my brain to the extent of feeling like thoughts are spilling out my ears. Despite all this I cannot sit still. The anticipation flows through every artery in my body, clinging to my blood cells as though it is the vital oxygen required to sustain life. After months of testing the strength and flexibility of my feet, my balance, and my ability to move my toes in peculiar ways, I have been given permission to take the next step in my training. So I make the journey into the city to once again have my feet poked and prodded, then walk out with the pair of shoes that glisten with the promise of hard work and excitement.

I hold them in my hands, their weight being less than expected. They are hard and immoveable with stiffness, they beg me to put them on, challenging me to break them and abuse them until there are suitable for nothing more than a memento. I cannot though. First, they must be primed and prepared for the hours of practice that are yet to come.

I pick up the sewing needle with caution, scared of it’s potential to harm. It is cold and thin in my tin nimble fingers. I thread the thick, cream-coloured thread through it and tie a poorly executed knot. I thread the needle through the ribbon, I thread too far and pierce the lustrous satin on the outside of the shoe that gives the disguise of elegance behind what every dancer knows to be concealed ugliness brought upon us as a consequence of dedication. I prick my finger, blood oozes slowly out of the tiny wound that I have inflicted upon myself. The blood stains the pristine shimmering fabric, staining the perfect exterior to reveal the true nature of the shoes.


The doll at his Grandparent’s house

Click! The lights are out. I can still see it. Not really,but the image is still in my mind. Its vacant stare somehow burning my sealed eyes. It’s imprint, like a cow prod sitting on a raging fire. The more time goes by, the clearer the image becomes. And I fear it is waiting. Waiting until the cow prod is ready to strike me. Until its image burns so hot in my mind that it can sense my fear of it. And at that moment… it will STRIKE!

I feel as if a soul just passed through me. The way you feel when you wake up from a dream where you were falling. Maybe it was a dream? I open my eyes just enough so that my eyelashes are still shielding them. I can see it now. My eyes have adjusted to the silent darkness. It’s mocking me with its silence. The never-ending nothingness of no noise makes me even more nervous. I wait.

Jowen Hillyer | Head Teacher English, HSIE, and Languages

Faculty - Mathematics and Software Design and Development

Assessment Tasks Year 7-10

Students 7-10 should have received assessment task 3 results in class. Notifications are going out for assessment task 4 to year 10 and 8 before the end of term as they will be completing the task early Term 4.

Assessment task 4 will be their end of year examination, which will be open-book and run during school time. We highly recommend students create a summary sheet for quick reference during the test, rather than relying on searching through all their schoolwork. Summary sheet’s or annotated progress summaries are also a great way to revise and prepare for examinations.

We want to wish our HSC students good luck in their exanimation preparation, and congratulate Year 11 who have completed their Yearly Exams. Stage 6 has shown a remarkable effort and adaptability during these changing times.

Completion of Work

Students are reminded that it is an expectation that they are completing all assigned classwork. Every class has a ‘Completion of Work’ or COW page which clearly outlines the expected classwork. All classes also have a Term Planner where students can find recordings of missed lessons. Please check with your teacher if you are unsure where to find this and regularly ensure your work is up-to-date.

Student work samples

Term Break

We want to wish all students a safe and restful break, and we look forward to seeing them again in Term 4!

Karen Bellamy | Rlg Head Teacher Mathematics and Software Design & Development

Faculty - Science and Agriculture

Congratulations to all our year 12 students for finishing their schooling with us. All of you have had a tough last two years of your schooling, but all of you persevered and ‘soldiered on’ with resilience to succeed. The positive attitude and camaraderie with your teachers and amongst classmates was highly commendable. As teachers, we are immensely proud of your achievements and despite of all the changes that were out of our control in terms of health order restrictions, we are very sure that all of you are going to have excellent results in your HSC exams. We wish you all the best.

Congratulations also to all our Year 11 students for finishing their exams and soon their Year 11 course. We commend your consistent effort and application to your study, and we recommend you keep up with the positive attitude towards your study for your Year 12 courses. Year 11 teachers will discuss the results as soon as the exams are marked.

Current assessment tasks

Year 7, 9 and 10 are currently completing their yearly exams. We want to acknowledge all the families of these students for the technology support given to their children at home. Your support made this examination process exceptionally smooth and successful.

Years 8 and 10 are now fully engaged with their major research projects. For Year 8 students, those projects were authorised by the teachers in terms of safety and risks. As much as we want you to have fun with your experiments, the safety of our students comes first. Many of the projects are well planned and we cannot wait to see the results, photos, and the conclusions of your projects. The Year 10 students are researching using proper scientific journals and we thank our librarian, Mrs Lieschke, for her support with journal access and literacy resources.

Finally, we want to wish all our students and their families a safe holiday.

Work samples from some of our super starts in science

Year 7 – Structures in living things

Year 8 – Chemistry

Year 9 – Ecology

Year 10 – The Universe

Year 12 Science Extension

Meeting with Dominik Koll (Germany), Dr Stefan Patevich (Canberra), Dr Silvia Rudmann, and Harry Bottero to discuss Harry’s Science Extension final paper corrections.

Dr Silvia Rudmann | Rlg. Head Teacher Science and Agriculture

Extracurricular - HSC Study Days

Our HSC Study Days have wrapped up with the last in our series of English sessions. Our Standard, Advanced and Extension 1 English sessions were well attended and the recordings and materials have been distributed to schools who could not attend due to Trial exams.

The HSC Study Days program was a huge undertaking with 160 schools, over 8000 students and many presenters across the state who delivered engaging and supportive materials to help our HSC Students navigate these tricky times leading into a changed HSC examination period. We wish all HSC students across the state the very best for their examinations in Term 4. I’d like to thank everyone who participated, delivered content and helped behind the scenes to get this worthwhile resource out to students across the state.

Marnie Etheridge | Rlg. Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

Extracurricular - Webinars and Masterclasses

Karen Young of Hey Sigmund presented a suite of webinars to students, staff and parents over the last few weeks on identifying anxiety, the physiology of anxious responses and the strategies we can all use to manage our natural, anxious feelings. Karen is a wonderful presenter with a range of experience that means her presentations are always warmly welcomed by the Aurora College community. We hope to see her back again next year.

Term 4 is shaping up to be a busy one with plenty of professional learning activities, and a parent webinar presented by our very own Dr Silvia Rudmann, who will be delivering some information regarding High Potential and Gifted Education at Aurora College. Keep an eye out for registration for that session, coming early in Term 4.

Marnie Etheridge | Rlg. Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

Student Wellbeing - Learning and Support

Attendance Matters

If there is a positive to be found in the move to Remote Learning for NSW, it is the noticeable increase in student attendance to their Aurora lessons.

Teachers have commented on students’ resilience and tenacity during these uncertain times, and we have seen a positive impact on student engagement, connection, and in supporting the wellbeing of each other.

Nothing makes us happier to receive feedback from students who feel valued at Aurora College:

“I am grateful that during these times, we can get just a small amount of consistency from Aurora.”

“I am grateful that even though lockdown sucks, aurora has still given us the same amount of work and hasn’t overworked us, and I’m thankful that all my friends and family are healthy.”

“I’m grateful for my amazing teachers who have given up so much of their time for me and all our crazy crew, you’ve all made year 12 so special.”

“I am grateful that Aurora is still running as usual during lock down, it is the only thing really that stays normal and that is very good.”

Great teamwork, Aurora College. Connecting, succeeding, thriving!

R U OK day

In challenging times it’s more important than ever for us all to stay connected and, for those who are able, be willing to support those around us.

On Thursday 9th of September, we came together to reflect on how to be a supportive person in someone’s life and brightened each other’s day with splashes of yellow all over our screens.

Do you know how the people in your world are really going? Are they really OK? Ask them today.

Wear It Purple day

Wear it Purple Day is about showing LGBTQ+ young people that they have the right to be proud of who they are. It is about creating safe spaces in schools, universities, workplaces, and public spaces to show LGBTQ+ young people that they are seen and supported.

This year’s theme was “Start the conversation… keep it going”. Students and Staff dressed in their best purple attire on Friday 27th August to celebrate diversity at Aurora College.

Julie Ruming | Head Teacher Wellbeing

Student Support - Careers

Aurora College Careers Website

Career Spotlight – Paramedic

Paramedics respond swiftly to medical emergencies, assess the state of and attend to injured people, and provide transport to medical facilities if necessary.

If you work well under pressure, are a confident and quick decision-maker, and want a career that will help you save lives, you might want to consider becoming a Paramedic.

There is a huge demand for healthcare professionals across the world, especially since the COVID pandemic. Your skills and knowledge as a Paramedic will be useful no matter where you are in the world.

How to become a Paramedic in Australia

To work as a Paramedic in Australia, you will need to complete an accredited qualification, and register with the Paramedicine Board of Australia. You will also need to hold an unrestricted C class driver’s license.

  1. Complete Year 12 with a strong focus on English, Maths and Science.
  2. Try and find work experience in health-related setting, such as at a hospital or aged care facility.
  3. Complete an accredited qualification, which is usually a Bachelor of Paramedicine or Bachelor of Paramedic Science. You can see the full list of accredited qualifications on Ahpra’s website (
  4. Register with the Paramedicine Board of Australia (

Institution Investigation

SAE offers specialised courses in creative media which are dynamic and evolve to suit the rapid changes in the Creative Arts industry. It is a private institution but has government Vet Fee Help and HECS student loans as well as Scholarships on offer.

Check out their courses and link to the website.

UAC News

Want to find out more about university scholarships, school recommendation schemes or anything to do with your UAC application, then make sure you access their website or contact me for clarification of any questions. Your first deadline comes up on 30th September.

Below is a YouTube clip that explains the equity scholarship which is based on financial disadvantage. Click on the link to see if you qualify and what it means if you are successful in gaining one.

Jobs Board

Local council opportunities

This is a great tool to search opportunities with all NSW Local Councils in the following areas of interest:

  • Horticulture (Parks and Gardens Certificate III)
  • Horticulture (Sports Turf Management Certificate III)
  • Automotive (Heave Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology Certificate III)
  • Automotive (Light Vehicle Mechanicl Technology Certificate III)
  • Carpentry and Joinery (Certificate III)
  • Civil Construction (Road Construction and Maintenance Certificate III)
  • Civil Construction (Plant Operations Certificate III)
  • Civil Construction (Timber Bridge Construction and Maintenance Certificate III)
  • Electro Technology (Electrician Certificate III)
  • Engineering (Electrical/Electronic Trade Certificate III)
  • Engineering (Mechanical Trade Certificate III)
  • Telecommunications Technology (Certificate III)
  • Plumbing (Certificate III)


Traineeships offer paid work and training and usually take 1-2 years, depending on the level of the qualification with over 300 qualifications for outdoor and indoor jobs.

Those most common are in:

  • Business Services (e.g. office administration, customer service)
  • Civil Construction (e.g. plant operations)
  • IT
  • Community Services (e.g. early childhood education and care, individual support)
  • Horticulture
  • Asset maintenance (e.g. waste management)
  • Local Government (operational works and regulatory services)
  • Tourism
  • Water (e.g. water treatment, wastewater treatment)

For more information on how to become an apprentice or trainee, go to:

Australian Apprenticeships ( or Australian Apprenticeships Pathways (

Work experience

Work experience is a great way to gain hands-on knowledge, to work as part of a team, develop communication skills and build a strong work ethos. Most councils offer work experience to students. Contact your local council for potential work experience opportunities.

Current jobs

By simply doing a quick Job Search with the following website, I found these positions that you can apply for now.

Kim Morris | Careers Advisor

 Student Support - Library

Lisa Lieschke | Teacher Librarian 

Student Support - Technology

Windows 11 is coming!

Microsoft have announced that the next version of Windows, “Windows 11”, is being released on October 5th 2021. This free upgrade will be available to download on secondary student laptops shortly thereafter. While it is exciting to have a new system, we would recommend that students do not upgrade just yet. Our preliminary testing shows that the student laptops do not meet the minimum requirements for Windows 11 and we have as yet been unable to determine whether any applications that Aurora College uses will be affected by the change as well.

School computers, and laptops used by Year 5 students, are managed by the Departments central system, and Windows 11 will likely need extensive testing before being rolled out for those devices as well.

Even though you will not have the “most up-to-date” operating system, Microsoft will still support Windows 10 until at least October 2025, leaving plenty of time for compatible devices to be sourced as required.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to get in touch!

Protecting your computer

A number of students have asked which anti-virus software they should install on their laptops. The good news is that you already have one! Microsoft Defender is an anti-virus and anti-malware application that is built into Windows 10 and includes a firewall and ransomware detection to protect your computer.

Some student occasionally receive a scary message that they have some virus, and their subscription is expired, so they need to pay for a new subscription to remove the viruses. Rest assured that this is simply spam marketing by services to try and scare you into giving them money! These messages will usuall pop up in the bottom right of the screen and look like a Windows message, however they come from Google Chrome in the form of a website notification. If you see these messages, please let us know so we can assist you in turning off the notifications and confirming that your Microsoft Defender protection is working as designed.

Of course, anti-virus software should only be part of your protection strategy. It’s also important to make sure that you have a reliable backup of your files, and that Windows is up-to-date.

A good way to organise your backups is the 3-2-1 strategy. This means having at least three total copies of your data, two on-site, and one off-site. The data saved on your computer counts as one on-site backup. Having a usb drive with a copy at home would be your second on-site backup. Finally, copying your work to the cloud (e.g. your school OneDrive account) is your off-site copy. If your laptop isn’t available anymore, you still have the usb drive, and if in an unlikely (but still possible) situation where your laptop and the usb drive were not working, you would have your cloud backup. You add more backups in either category if you like, but at a minimum this should keep you protected as much as possible.

Lastly, it’s important to keep Windows up-to-date. The Microsoft Defender application on your laptop needs frequent updates to be able to recognise the viruses and malware on the internet. Microsoft releases a new ‘signature’ update every week, and it’s good practice to make sure it gets installed quickly. Updates to Windows, Office, and your system drivers should be released every month from Microsoft, and its best practice to ensure they are also installed. We have recently found that an issue with the laptop touchscreen, pen, and trackpad that some users have experienced is resolved by an update that Microsoft have released.

If you are worried about something your laptop is doing, or not doing, let us know. A screenshot or description of your problem will help us to identify and hopefully fix it as soon as possible! Email us at or call us on 1300 610 733 during school hours.

Ben Hillsley | Learning Technologies Support Officer

Student Support - Administration

We moved to our permanent home at the end of Term 2 and then were plunged into “lockdown”. Some of our staff have not even been to the new site, let alone been able to unpack their belongings. We have had a skeleton staff onsite for the past 9 weeks. We were so looking forward to our move and finally being able to own our space.

Our teachers have ‘risen to the challenge’ and continued to teach our students from their homes. Our office staff have also risen to the challenge and provided our students and parents with the service they have grown to expect. We are looking forward to returning to ‘normal’ from 25th October.

Our office hours are 8:30 am to 3:30 pm Monday to Friday. We can be reached toll free on 1300 287 629 or email

Have a lovely break and please stay safe.

Denise Deaves | School Administrative Manager

Staff Spotlight

Virginia Cluff

Virginia Cluff

I am an Aurora College “original”, in fact you could say I am a pre-cursor! I was working with the trial before Aurora was born. I am fortunate to teach most days from my local host school Dunedoo Central School in Central West NSW. The name Dunedoo always gets such a chuckle; it means Black Swan.

I live on a farm about 20km from the town of Dunedoo with my husband and 3 children. We have twin girls who are 17 and a son who is 15. We have a lot of sheep and cows and grow a variety of crops. We also have quite a few black swans living on our dams which are very beautiful to watch.

I have been the Head Teacher of Science since 2015. Recently I was appointed as the Instructional Leader, Deputy Principal of Aurora College and I am looking forward to working across the whole school on a range of projects.

I have been teaching for 10 years; prior to teaching I was working in the pharmaceutical industry both here in Australia and in the USA. Once we moved to Dunedoo I retrained to become an educator through University of New England. Interestingly, I studied this degree on line; it was truly inspiring to me, that I could learn online. When the opportunity to join a project in the Department of Education to test online teaching and learning came along, I jumped at the chance. And the rest they say is history!

Community - P&C

Dear families and friends of Aurora College,

Did you know, Aurora College now has a P&C Association?

Due to changing times, in 2020 an amendment was added to the P&C Federation constitution by the Minister for Education to enable associations to operate ‘virtually.’

Jumping at the opportunity to establish an Aurora College Parents & Citizens Association (ACPCA), a working committee was formed, and soon after a foundation P&C Association was established.

Twelve months on, here we are, and the ACPCA has now commenced its second year of operation. With much enthusiasm, and a sense of adventure, the ACPCA is looking forward to working with the Aurora community in an effort to support students, families and staff in a number of meaningful and uplifting ways.

The P&C Team warmly welcomes new members to join. Being a P&C member not only opens up opportunities to support the life of the school – it’s students and staff, but is also a great way to connect with other parents among a supportive and encouraging network of people.

Joining is easy. Go to the parent ‘Make a Payment’ portal and follow these steps on ‘How To Join.’

Looking forward to meeting you all and connecting our tribe.

On behalf of the Aurora Parents & Citizens Association,

Leise Farquharson.

President – ACPCA

Meet the 2021 P&C Executive Team

The recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) saw a ‘changing of the guard,’ sadly farewelling Dr David Dubois. Sincere gratitude is extended to David for his diligence in leading the working party towards forming the ACPCA, and again for his continued guidance and service as the foundation President in 2020.

Thank you.

Looking forward, we are pleased to introduce the Team for 2021.

Name: Bauntai Leise Farquharson (aka “Lee sea” but spelt Leise )
Role: El Presidente / President

What is your favourite band or song?
Imagine Dragons – ‘Best Day Of My Life’

If you had a superpower what would it be and why?
To heal both people and animals. The world needs healing – both mind, body and soul.

Which fictional character, would you say, is most like you?
My husband says Cruella, due to my ‘hair’. However, I identify the most with Anne of Green Gables and Orphan Annie. Loyal, stubborn and mischievous.

In one to five words, how would you describe the essence of Aurora College?
‘Finding Kindred Spirits’ Anne of Green Gables

Name: Wendy Zanon
Role: Vice President, chief side-kick of Leise and Tim.

What is your favourite band or song?
“I am Australian” by Bruce Woodley from The Seekers.

If you had a superpower what would it be and why?
Baby Sleep Whisperer. It would make many of the families I work with very happy if I could wave a magic wand and have their babies sleeping better. Actually maybe I already have this super power, now if i could only get it to work on my teenager.

Which fictional character, would you say, is most like you?
Piglet from Winnie the Pooh. He always says just the right thing to make others feel better but seems unaware of his word prowess.

In one to five words, how would you describe the essence of Aurora College?
A safe place to belong.

Name: Tim Hart
Role: Vice President, aka wingman.

What is your favourite band or song?
Too hard to decide – it’s between ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ by INXS or ‘Friday I’m in Love’ by the Cure

If you had a superpower what would it be and why?
Super speed. That way I could get all the chores and house-jobs done in record time and get back to what matters most – spending time with family.

Which fictional character, would you say, is most like you?
Well, I once did one of those ‘Which character are you?’ quizzes and I was assigned Hermoine Granger from Harry Potter! Not far from the truth – a level-headed problem-solver with a loyal heart. Although I was hoping I’d be Star-Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy. I don’t mind an 80s hit and I can see myself wearing that vintage maroon jacket.

In one to five words, how would you describe the essence of Aurora College?
Home. Belonging. Community.

Name: Narelle Myers
Role: Secretary

What is your favourite band or song?
Everlong by Foofighters

If you had a superpower what would it be and why?
Teleportation (because I love to travel).

Which fictional character, would you say, is most like you?
“Wonder Woman” but probably more like “Marge Simpson” most days!!!

In one to five words, how would you describe the essence of Aurora College?
Amazing and inspirational opportunity for rural education.

Name: Nicole Hart
Role: Treasurer

What is your favourite band or song?
Fleetwood Mac

If you had a superpower what would it be and why?
Power of mind-control. This should be a given for all parents.

Which fictional character, would you say, is most like you?
“Elphaba” the green witch from Wicked – Aim to hit the high notes and defy a little gravity.

In one to five words, how would you describe the essence of Aurora College?
Growth and connection.

Name: Marisol Martinreyes
Role: Assistant Treasurer

What is your favourite band or song?
Pearl Jam – soooo many favourites but if I have to choose it would be Just Breathe

If you had a superpower what would it be and why?
To travel back in time. Would be great to take the kids too and all see some of the major historic events/achievements that have occurred over the last 500 years or so. Plus a lunch date or two with the ancestors. Definitely would be a blast from the past (sorry had to include it) and make us really appreciate how good we have it today in 2021…(even with COVID)

Which fictional character, would you say, is most like you?
Boss Baby 

In one to five words, how would you describe the essence of Aurora College?
Not possible! Always collaborative with a demonstrated commitment to achieving excellence for our students via rural and remote education.

Name: Seamus McCartney
Role: Stage 3 Opportunity Class Coordinator

What is your favourite band or song?
Brown Sugar by D’Angelo

If you had a superpower what would it be and why?
I’ll go with Tim and say super speed, mainly because I often bite off more than I can chew.

Which fictional character, would you say, is most like you?
That’s a hard one – let’s go with John Walker the eldest kid in Swallows and Amazon (mainly because it’s one of my favourite books)

In one to five words, how would you describe the essence of Aurora College?
Excellence, Global, Connected, Different and Fun

Contact Us

Have questions? Would like to know more? Please get in touch:

Leise Farquharson – President

Tim Hart – Vice-President

*Note: As the ACPCA continues to be established contact and communication methods will be updated in due course – stay tuned.

Community - Student Achievement

A number of our past students are about to commence their Year 12 studies in their partner schools and have recently been through the leadership process.

We would like to congratulate them on these appointments and wish them well in their studies and their new leadership roles.

  • Shannon – Nyngan High School Vice Captain
  • Alexander – Goulburn High School Captain

ICAS 2021

ICAS 2021 at Aurora College saw many students opt into taking the ICAS exams in several key learning areas. 298 ICAS papers were sat online in 2021. The ICAS competition is open to students around the world, and is broken up into several different papers, or subjects.

Parents can nominate their child to sit any number of the ICAS papers, and Aurora College coordinates the exams in Term 3.

A letter will be sent home early in Term 4 with instructions on how to access the student results and certificate in the ICAS portal.

ICAS results are divided into a number of categories:

  • High distinction: awarded to the top 1% of entrants in each year level in each state and country
  • Distinction: awarded to the next 10% of entrants in each year level in each state and country
  • Credit: awarded to the next 25% of entrants in each year level in each state and country
  • Merit: awarded to the next 10% of entrants in each year level in each state and country
  • All other students recieve a Participation Certificate

We had some exceptional results in 2021, in the following subjects:


77 students participated and were awarded 13 distinction, 28 credit, 8 merit, and 28 participation certificates.

Digital Technologies

66 students participated and were awarded 1 high distinction, 10 distinction, 22 credit, 5 merit, and 28 participation certificates.


79 students participated and were awarded 7 high distinction, 10 distinction, 30 credit, 8 merit, and 23 participation certificates.


76 students participated and were awarded 2 high distinction, 16 distinction, 20 credit, 10 merit, and 28 participation certificates.

Congratulations to the following students who achieved a high distinction:

  • Isaac L (Year 7) – Digital Technologies
  • Elizabeth B (Year 7) – English and Science
  • Joel F (Year 7) – English
  • Penelope L (Year 7) – English
  • Esther W (Year 8) – English
  • Maggie C (Year 8) – English
  • Leanne A (Year 9) – English
  • Zoe T (Year 9) – Science
  • Jaslyn M (Year 10) – English

An amazing number of students were awarded a distinction:

  • Elizabeth B (Year 7) – Digital Technologies
  • Emily C (Year 7) – Mathematics and Science
  • Joel F (Year 7) – Science
  • Soham G (Year 7) – Mathematics
  • Leo J (Year 7) – English
  • Will K (Year 7) – Science
  • Isaac L (Year 7) – English and Science
  • Timothy M (Year 7) – Mathematics
  • Oskar M (Year 7) – English, Digital Technologies, Mathematics, and Science
  • Sarang O (Year 7) – English and Science
  • Seth T (Year 7) – Science
  • Hayden B (Year 8) – Digital Technologies, Mathematics, and Science
  • Draven C (Year 8) – Mathematics
  • Eric H (Year 8) – English and Mathematics
  • Matilda H (Year 8) – Digital Technologies
  • Charlie H (Year 8) – English
  • Jim H (Year 8) – Mathematics
  • Anneliese R (Year 8) – Digital Technologies and Science
  • Mitchell R (Year 8) – Digital Technologies and Mathematics
  • Roman R (Year 8) – Digital Technologies and Science
  • Esther W (Year 8) – Digital Technologies, Mathematics, and Science
  • Alice W (Year 8) – English
  • Sunni W (Year 8) – Science
  • Leanne A (Year 9) – Mathematics and Science
  • Edward D (Year 9) – English
  • James D (Year 9) – Science
  • Charles J (Year 9) – Digital Technologies and Science
  • Beatrix J (Year 9) – English
  • Charlotte R (Year 9) – Mathematics
  • Genevieve B (Year 10) – English and Science
  • Kayla G (Year 10) – Digital Technologies and Science

Congratulations to all the students who sat the ICAS 2021 exams on your exceptional efforts!